Technical Feasibility of Applying Cleaner Production Practices in Palestinian Leather Tanning Industries
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Conference Paper

Technical Feasibility of Applying Cleaner Production Practices in Palestinian Leather Tanning Industries Munya Mas’ouda , Abdelrahim AbuSafab , Amer Elhamouzb a : An-Najah national University Faculty of Graduate Studies b : An-Najah national University, chemical engineering department Leather tanning is an important industry in Palestine. This industry contributes to GDP and has an international market where leather as sweaters and shoes with high quality are sold outside Palestine. There 14 tanning plants (13 in Hebron and 1 in Nablus) with various production quantities. Hebron tanning plants process cows’ hides where Nablus tanning plant processes sheep’s hides. In general, raw hides are salted as they arrive the tanning plant to preserve them from petrification. Hides then are soaked to remove blood and wastes, after that they are rotated in the drum with lime and sulphide solution to get rid of hair. The structure of hides is opened using enzymes for further cleaning, then acid is added to adjust pH to preserve leathers two years. At the end, the hides are tanned with a chrome salt for leather stabilization. As a result of these steps, highly polluted solid and liquid effluents are generated. With current practices, huge amounts of polluted effluents are emitted and it is an intention to minimize the amounts without affecting leather quality. Hence cleaner production ma be attained. Cleaner production is a preventative technique of environmental impacts from any business processes. This technology requires change of operating practices, product design, input materials, maintenance, packaging and waste use in order to protect workers’ health and safety, minimize environmental risks and increase production efficiency. In literature, there are many cleaner production options in tanning industry that can be applied such as: using a chilling unit to preserve hides instead of salting, recovery of lime effluent from liming process after filtration to be used many times, using of chrome-free tanning such as: vegetable, zirconium or titanium tanning, recovery of chrome from tanning effluent and using of organic generated waste as compost. Economical aspects, availability of replaced chemical material and produced leather quality are the determinant of choosing feasible cleaner production technique. In this research project, a test tanning drum was designed and constructed to mimic the commercial tanning process at lab scale using sheep’s hides brought from butchers. Each hide was divided into two parts where traditional tanning method and sound feasible cleaner production are applied to the two parts. The sound cleaner production practices chosen in this project are: raising water temperature, decreasing water volume and decreasing chrome concentration. Results are underway where wastewater will be tested and leather will be exposed to mechanical tests to determine its quality in order to choose the most applicable and efficient tanning method.

Conference Title
PADUCO: Palestinian-Dutch Academic Cooperation on Water Internal Symposium, 25-26 March 2019, Birzeit University, Palestine
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Conference Date
March 25, 2019 - March 26, 2019
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