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CLRI develops eco-friendly leather processing technology

K.V. Kurmanath

Hyderabad , Jan. 6

THE Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) has formalised an eco-friendly technology that replaces, to a great extent, the chemical processing in the leather industry to bio-processing, reducing cost of raw materials and adding value to the end-product.

"The technology is ready. We are confident that it will herald a paradigm shift globally in the next three years in favour of the bio-processing," Dr T. Ramasami, Director of CLRI, said.

The technology was a result of the association that brought together the best of biotechnologists and institutes, he told Business Line on the sidelines of the 93rd Indian Science Congress.

The CLRI joined hands with 12 leading research institutes such as CCMB and Universities of Pune and Delhi.

The new process employs bio-enzymes to attend to the tasks that usually consume a variety of chemicals, resulting in heavy pollution.

The pollution in the leather industry has been a major cause of concern, resulting in a clampdown on many units.

It was not just the industry that would benefit from the technology.

"We are confident that we will achieve global leadership in the industry through technology," he said.

The study had found that basic chemicals used in the pre-tanning processes such as lime, sodium chloride, sodium sulphide and solvents, contributed a lot to the pollution. It also zeroed in on 18 enzymes that could replace the chemicals.

The new technology could selectively remove things like fat that would help the industry to get high-value by-product.

One of the major advantages of the new technology was that it cuts down up to 85 per cent of pollution.

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