Carbon footprint and toxicity indicators of alternative chromium free tanning in China
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This paper analyzes, from a life cycle perspective, the environmental performance of a newly developed chromium-free tanning process compared to the conventional one, in China. Both processes were evaluated by using carbon footprint, energy consumption and toxicity indicators. Chromium-free tanning process has been found to significantly reduce the considered impact categories compared to conventional tanning. The impact contribution of each process step was calculated, with the tanning step being the major contributor. Results show that the production of chemicals used in the tanning process, have a significant effect on the impacts evaluated. Some of these chemicals have been substituted with similar ones (used as proxies) when no manufacturing-data was available in the databases. Thus, it is important for future and more precise LCA studies to develop databases on the specific chemicals used. This study is a first estimation of the impacts and will help on the decision of expending time and efforts on developing and optimizing the new technology. The results show that it is interesting to use this LCA methodology to environmentally evaluate new research processes and products, before industrial scaling and implementing them, to optimize research time and efforts towards the most environmentally promising products and processes
CitationXu, X. [et al.]. Carbon footprint and toxicity indicators of alternative chromium free tanning in China. "Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association", 01 Maig 2015, vol. 110, núm. 5, p. 130-137.