Characterization of wet olive pomace waste as bio based resource for leather tanning
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Olive mill wastes represent an important environmental problem. Their high phenol, lipid, and organic acid concentrations turn them into phytotoxic materials. Specifically, wet olive pomace (WOP) is the waste generated in the two-phase continuous extraction process. WOP is a paste with around 60% water. The total volume of WOP generated is around 0.25 L/kg of olives processed. Its current waste management practices result in environmental problems as soil contamination, underground seepage, water-bodies pollution, and foul odor emissions. Some valorization alternatives include composting, biological treatments, direct combustion for energy production, or direct land application. The leather industry is making great efforts to apply cleaner processes while substituting chemical products for natural products. In this way, different alternatives are being studied, such as the use of zeolites, triazine derivatives, grape seed extract, olive leaf extract, etc. In this work, the use of wet olive pomace is presented as a possible alternative to conventional vegetable tannins (mimosa, quebracho, chestnut, etc.). Although different projects and studies have been developed for the valorization of olive mill wastes, there is completely a new approach to the WOP application for tanning purposes. This study shows that WOP has a significant number of polyphenolic substances, so it has a great potential to be used as a tanning agent. Specifically, this study has been able to determine that, of the polyphenols present in WOP, 39.6% correspond to tannins that are capable of tanning the skin. Additionally, it contains 14.3% non-tannins, that is, molecules that by themselves do not have the capacity to tan the leather but promote the tanning mechanism and improve the properties of the tanned leather.
Is part ofMaterials, 2021, vol. 14, núm. 19, 5790
European research projects
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