Author: Carmen Gaidau

Applicative Chemistry of Tanning Metallic Heterocomplexes

eBook: US $39 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $109
Printed Copy: US $90
Library License: US $156
ISBN: 978-1-60805-744-3 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-60805-743-6 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2013
DOI: 10.2174/97816080574361130101


The chemistry of heterocomplex compounds is a fascinating field for experts in chemical synthesis and structural analysis, and for technologists specializing in leather processing. This volume describes the vast theoretical and practical possibilities of exploiting the action synergism of metals with different collagen cross-linking capacity. The possibility of reducing chromium content from leather tanning agents by replacing it with other tanning metals has significant environmental implications and minimum changes in terms of quality and production costs of natural leather, and is a viable alternative for a safe future. Applicative Chemistry of Tanning Metallic Heterocomplexes is a book dedicated to the synthesis and use of tanning metallic heterocomplexes in leather tanning as alternatives to tanning with basic chromium salts. Replacing chromium with other tanning metals is an innovative approach that exploits the possibility that a series of known disadvantages of tanning metals used individually be reduced by heterocomplexation. The synthesis mechanism of stable combinations of chromium with other tanning metals: aluminum, iron, titanium, or zirconium is based on the stoichiometry of oxidation-reduction reactions which enables a wide range of combinations, the premise for obtaining various properties by tanning and retanning natural leather. The volume is intended as a useful reference for researchers, chemical auxiliary producers, experts in natural leather processing who are looking for clean and efficient solutions for wastewater pollutants, sludge or solid wastes while striving to preserve the known characteristics of mineral tanned natural leather.


Since prehistoric times, humans have used animal skins for clothing, to wear and to elaborate products with different uses.

The tanning industry is characterized by exploitation of natural resources and a constant interaction with the environment. In fact, animal skins are a byproduct of the food industry. If these skins wouldn’t be processed, they become a waste to be treated and eliminated causing health and environmental problems.

Throughout history different methods of tanning that are no longer used today had been applied, that is the case of tanning using smoke. However, other methods are still used today, such as aluminum salts, a system widely employed in ancient Rome. Also, the tanning by fats was known in the pre-classical Greece and is currently used to obtain chamois. But the use of these systems represents only 1% of the current production of skin. The only traditional system (used by Egyptians, Romans and Greeks) that maintains a high importance is the vegetable tanning. However, just represents the 10% of world production, with a tendency to regain importance.

In fact, the chrome tanning method is the most widely used and represents the 90% of world production, thanks to its ease of use and good properties that gives to the skin: durability, hydrothermal resistance, touch, fullness, etc. However, the use of chromium is a controversial issue because of its toxicity and persistence in the environment that represent some of its chemical forms.

A great variety of projects have been carried out in order to minimize this impact: recycling of pickle-tanning floats, recovery and treatment of chrome floats, high exhaustion of such floats, management of solid waste containing chrome, and the use of other tanning agents to substitute chrome. Indeed, the volume Applicative Chemistry of Tanning Metallic Heterocomplexes includes essential background about the leather tanning process and the use of chromium and its environmental implications. In addition, the eBook reports the synthesis and use of tanning metallic heterocomplexes with the aim to provide the classic features of mineral leathers and at the same time to reduce environmental pollution.

This eBook is a good tool for researchers and experts of the leather industry to understand the multiple interconnection ability of functional groups of the collagen macromolecule and the action synergism of several types of tanning metals. In this eBook you will find a low-cost alternative to the chrome tanned leather by preserving their well-known characteristics.

Anna Bacardit Dalmases
Igualada Engineering School (UPC)