Better leather, less pollution

CSIRO Division of Wool Technology's Leather Research Centre have been looking at ways of reducing the amount of effluent produced by hair removal ('unhairing') from hides prior to tanning. The Sirolime process they have developed offers significant environmental and economic benefits, has the potential to help increase the amount of hide-processing carried out in Australia and, because it uses conventional chemicals and techniques, albeit in novel ways, can involve relatively little outlay. Leather Research Centre scientists have also been active in improving the recycling of unhairing liquors and recycling of tanning liquors, particularly chrome tanning liquors.

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