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See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: Alternative technologies for adding value to bovine hair waste Article in Journal- Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists · January 2010 CITATIONS 11 READS 399 6 authors , including: Some of the authors of this publication are also working on these related projects: Biorefinery of Yerba Mate for the producion of fine chemicals View project Ivana Cavello National University of La Plata 25 PUBLICATIONS 130 CITATIONS SEE PROFILE Roque A. Hours National Scientific and Technical Research Council 67 PUBLICATIONS 912 CITATIONS SEE PROFILE All content following this page was uploaded by Roque A. Hours on 04 January 2016. The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.
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Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists, Vol. 94 p.26 Introduction Nowadays tanneries must maintain a local market and also reach an international market when processing leather according to the quality required, and at the same time ensure that any gaseous and liquid effluent satisfies the discharge standards, and have a proper disposal of solid waste. The beamhouse area, in particular the unhairing/liming process, has a notable influence on these concurrent requirements. The organic matter content and the presence of suspended solids in the liquid effluent greatly depend on the unhairing process used; the conventional hair-burning unhairing, lime and sodium sulphide based, give the maximum values for beamhouse pollution. The development of hair saving unhairing - in their different modalities - is producing a shift of the traditional technologies in the worldwide tannery industry. The arguments ruling this technological change are: a) reducing the organic load in the beamhouse effluent (expressed in terms of the Chemical Oxygen Demand between 40-60%); the sulphide concentration (about 50%); and the suspended and settleable solids (about 75%). The problem has now become the disposal of a new solid waste, the partially degraded hair with potential industrial applications. In a hair-saving unhairing process it is possible to recover hair at the level of about 10% (in wet state moisture 70-75%) of the weight of salted bovine hide. Considering that Argentine tanneries processes, on average, more than 36 000 tons of hides, this means about 100 ton per day of wet hair, which permits one to appreciate the magnitude of the problem. According to the current legislation in Argentine, even though it is considered as a non-hazardous waste by the 24.051 law, the hair poses the problem of the great volume generated and its degradation resistance. On the other hand, since it is a protein waste, it deserves special attention in order to be used for different purposes.
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