Browsing Articles publicats (Grup de Recerca A3 Leather Innovation Center) by Author "Baquero Armans, Grau"
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- ItemOpen AccessAnalysis of the environmental impacts of waterproofing versus conventional vegetable tanning process - A life cycle analysis study(Elsevier, 2021-10-11) Baquero Armans, Grau; Sorolla, Sílvia; Cuadros Domènech, Rosa; Ollé i Otero, Lluís; Bacardit i Dalmases, Anna; A3 Leather Innovation CenterWaterproofed vegetable leather is desired for its 'greenness' in front of chromium-tanned waterproofed leather. However, conferring waterproofing capabilities to vegetable tanned leather maintaining light color and a soft touch is a fact of great concern for leather goods producers. Sustainable and technical requirements are currently demanded by high-quality brands in order to pass the threshold established by Leather Working Group (LWG) initiatives to earn their environmental audit seal. The research work has focused on testing various mineral salts and hydrophobic products compatible with vegetable tanned leather. According to the obtained results, acrylic copolymers along with zirconium salts are necessary to achieve the desired leather properties. The present study provides the environmental comparison of a new vegetable tanning process to give waterproofing capabilities with the conventional vegetable tanning process. The comparison comprises both wastewater analysis and environmental impacts in a life cycle assessment (LCA) framework. The paper also outlines the comparison using different life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods. Further, the study provides specific data on leather vegetable tanning processes. Comparative analysis has been focused on the two diverging stages for both conventional and waterproofing vegetable tanning processes, namely retanning and fatliquoring. Conventional process environmental impacts are lower than waterproofing process impacts according to LCA methodology. However, wastewater analysis shows no major differences between both processes. Main contributors to these results are the zirconium salts, dispersing agents and acrylic copolymers used along with an increase in energy consumption due to processing times. Alternative methods used in the impact assessment lead to similar results, revealing no major differences in the comparative results between methods in this case.
- ItemOpen AccessApplication of highly carboxylate resins in aqueous emulsion for leather coating avoiding the use of isopropyl alcohol(Elsevier, 2016-08) Ollé i Otero, Lluís; Baquero Armans, Grau; Solé Ferrer, Maria Mercè; Cuadros Domènech, Rosa; Bacardit i Dalmases, AnnaToday, the first stages of the finishing processes of buffed cattle hides or full loose grain–known as impregnation–are largely carried out with acrylic resins and penetrating agents (typically, a mixture of surfactants and solvents). This application aims to strengthen the partially buffed grain layer bound to the rest of the dermis. To that end, a composition of emulsified acrylic resins is used, as well as a penetrating agent – usually isopropyl alcohol –, and water. The process examined consists in the application of acrylic polymers in an aqueous emulsion that, because of their structure, size, and properties no longer require the use of the isopropyl alcohol contained in the penetrating agents. The use of this alcohol causes adverse effects on the health of workers that are exposed to emanations of isopropanol vapors (irritant to eyes, respiratory tract, and skin) in the work environment. Effects from prolonged exposition and inhalation may lead to headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea and, ultimately, to unconsciousness. By using the new polymers developed in this work, the negative environmental effects of the finishing process can be minimized. At the same time, the use of these highly carboxylate resins avoid the exposure to isopropyl alcohol, which is harmful to the health. In addition, the volatile organic compounds (VOC) are reduced without compromising the appearance, performance and fashion requirements that are expected in the final product.
- ItemOpen AccessEvaluation of a new sustainable continuous system for processing bovine leather(Elsevier, 2015-08) Bacardit i Dalmases, Anna; Baquero Armans, Grau; Sorolla, Sílvia; Ollé i Otero, LluísThe aim of the present work is to evaluate a new sustainable continuous system for processing bovine leather. By means of a prototype described in the international patent WO, 2010/070571 (A2) of the technological centre AIICA, a dehydration process for bovine hides is carried out. What is obtained through this new process is a dehydrated leather with the optimal physical and chemical characteristics that will allow its subsequent tanning by immersion processes in aqueous solutions of chemical products. When compared to existing traditional processes, there are economic and environmental advantages resulting from the use of this new system. More specifically, the new process results in reductions of 30.6% in water use, 50.2% in chemical use and 16.4% in process time. In addition, a reduction of 27.3% in wastewater and a reduction of 47.5% of thermal energy consumption are obtained. However, this new system presents an increase in electricity consumption of 63.03% and an increase in gaseous emissions of 75% due to the use of acetone in the dehydration process and the 0.5% losses of acetone during the process. In order to better assess the environmental impact of this new tanning system, life cycle analysis methodology has been chosen to perform calculations on the Global Warming Potential (CO2 equivalent emissions) and the energy consumption comparing both traditional and new tanning processes.
- ItemOpen AccessExploring the feasibility of substituting mimosa tannin for pine bark powder. A LCA perspective(Elsevier, 2022) Conde Mateos, Mireia; Combalia Cendra, Felip; Baquero Armans, Grau; Ollé i Otero, Lluís; Bacardit i Dalmases, AnnaThe use of vegetable tannins is a bio-based alternative to chrome tanning. The most used vegetable extracts are Mimosa and Quebracho. To improve the sustainability of the tanning process, a chemically unmodified pine bark could be used as a natural source of tannins. The present study was aimed to evaluate the environmental impact of the use of pine bark powder to obtain vegetable leather through a life cycle assessment. Specifically, the life cycle impact evaluation was performed for both: i) pine bark powder tannin and the atomized mimosa extract production as raw material; and ii) the production process of a tanned leather with pine bark tannin versus a tanned leather with mimosa extract. An eco-friendly and cleaner production method for obtaining pine bark powder was developed. This new production method allows to obtain a reduction in 83% in the 'climate change' impact category. However, when this tannin is applied to obtain a tanned leather, the tanning process shows an increase in all studied impact categories compared with the use of the atomized mimosa extract.