Reduction of the formaldehyde content in leathers treated with formaldehyde resins by means of plant polyphenols
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Formaldehyde has applications in many industrial processes, including synthesis of resins and syntans to be used in the retanning process of leather. When resins are employed, they can hydrolyse, releasing formaldehyde. Due to the carcinogenicity of formaldehyde, its presence in leather should be avoided or kept below allowable limits. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of polyphenols contained in vegetable compounds (mimosa, quebracho and tara) in the reduction of the formaldehyde content in leathers treated with resins synthesized with formaldehyde (melamine-formaldehyde and dicyandiamide-formaldehyde). The formaldehyde content in leathers treated only with resin increases with time while the formaldehyde content in leathers treated additionally with vegetable compounds is reduced. The lower the formaldehyde content in the leather, the higher the ability of vegetable compounds to reduce such content. Mimosa shows the strongest ability to reduce the formaldehyde content, and this capacity increases with ageing. The addition of 4% (on shaved wet-blue weight) of mimosa gives rise to an 85% reduction in the formaldehyde content 140 days after leather processing of split hides treated with a formaldehyde resin of low formaldehyde content. However, this reduction is 68% in splits hides treated with a resin of high formaldehyde content. This is of great importance in baby’s leather articles, in which the formaldehyde content is low; therefore, the addition of a small amount (3%) of vegetable compounds (especially mimosa) guarantees that the formaldehyde content is below the allowed limits (16 mg/kg in the most restrictive regulation). Reducing the formaldehyde content using the polyphenols contained in vegetable compounds constitutes a good alternative not only in the leather sector but also in other industrial sectors (wood, textile, etc.) that use formaldehyde resins.
CitationMarsal , A., Manich, A.M., Cuadros Domènech, S., Font Vallès, J. Reduction of the formaldehyde content in leathers treated with formaldehyde resins by means of plant polyphenols. "Journal of cleaner production", 3 Febrer 2017, vol. 148, p. 518-526.