Life cycle assessment of Italian and Spanish bovine leather production systems
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The objectives of the research here described were to put in evidence the eco-profiles of two product-systems concerning bovine leather manufactured in Italy and Spain, to identify their hot spots and to find out if the different technologies and cooperative management solutions adopted led to significant environmental differences in the two systems analysed. The environmental impacts of two systems were analysed by means of the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. At the macro-phase level, tanning resulted to be the most burdensome phase for almost all impact categories in both systems. At the level of the specific tannery phases, the main hot spots were tanning, dyeing-retaining and soaking in the Italian system, soaking-liming, tanning and retanning in the Spanish one. The main differences between the two systems and a few options for improvement were identified at three levels: energy mix, industrial processes and solid waste management. Despite the technological and waste management dissimilarity of the two systems, their total environmental burdens appeared quite similar. However, relevant differences in the most burdening phases, operations and substances are highlighted in this paper. Improvements in both systems should be aimed at by means of an optimisation of tanning processes and reduction of chemicals use. Further studies dealing with inventories of recovery processes and landfill disposal of wastes are recommended.
CitationNotarnicola, B. [et al.]. Life cycle assessment of Italian and Spanish bovine leather production systems. "Afinidad: revista de química teórica y aplicada", 02 Setembre 2011, vol. 68, núm. 553, p. 167-180.
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