Name of the Student : Dima Nazer
Name of the supervisor/s :

Dr. Rashed Al-Sa’ed

Title of the thesis :

Development of a modified Method for Reducing the Environmental Impact and Economics of the Unhairing-Liming Process in the Leather Industry

Abstract :  

This study proposes a modification to the method of unhairing–liming of hides in the tanning industry. This modification should be seen within the context of reducing the environmental impact generated from the use of large amounts of chemicals and enormous volumes of water through the different stages of the overall tanning process.

The study also aims at reducing the manufacturing costs of the leather tanning industry by introducing a modified manufacturing process that uses recycled water and lower amounts of chemicals as opposed to conventional methods.

Experiments were carried out at lab scale with a simulation apparatus designed for the purpose.

On the environmental level, life cycle assessment was used to evaluate the net environmental benefits of the modified method; the overall impact of the process was reduced when implementing the modified method. On the economical level, the modified method permits for savings in water and chemicals as well as wastewater treatment cost. The modified method requires some investment in new equipment and is a little more labor intensive as compared with the traditional method. The present value approach was used to evaluate the economic feasibility of the modified method.

The quality of the produced leather was assessed by experts from the tanning sector (tanners).

Finally the results obtained from this research study showed that the unhairing-liming liquor could be used five times without visibly affecting the quality of the final product of leather. The modified method reduces the cost of the unhairing-liming process. Moreover the modified method reduces the environmental impact of the pollutants generated from the process.