Products and processes with a view to circular economyFounded in 1981 in Castelfranco di Sotto (Pisa), in the heart of the Tuscan tanning district, Dermacolor specialises in the production of chemical auxiliaries for the wet tanning phases and for the finishing of leathers.
The research manager, Andrea Meucci, helps us to understand the priorities of this company that has made innovation its strong point.
In short, what can we say about what Dermacolor has done in terms of sustainability so far?
“Dermacolor studies and develops always innovative and sustainable chemical tanning products paying the utmost attention to all regulations, including of course the adaptation to the Reach Regulation. Over the years we have obtained certifications for the Quality, Environment, Health and Safety management system. Recently, we have registered in the ‛Chemical Gateway’ portal of ZDHC one hundred of our products that meet the stringent requirements of the platform created to eliminate chemical risk in the fashion world, which will be followed by others”.
On which aspects has your research been focused?
“With a view to the circular economy, in the last few years we have developed and marketed various products based on secondary raw materials deriving from tanning waste. We have also developed a post-neutralisation free sulfurisation process to eliminate the polluting load. Another developed project concerns the substitution of aldehydes as tanning/pre-tanning substances with alternatives with lower environmental impact and less chemical risk at working and handling level”.
What goals do you want to achieve?
“We are working on various fronts. The main research concerns the reduction of sulphate content in wastewater and the development of a salt-free pickling process. For the finishing we have developed a series of fillers that reduce the number of mechanical operations required and therefore decrease consumption and time. From the production point of view, however, I am proud to say that the new plant under construction provides for the installation of a photovoltaic system that will cover the entire energy needs of the company”.
What new challenges does the chemical-tanning sector, in your opinion, still have to win?
“We are lucky to live and work in an artisan/industrial area that has made the circular economy its flagship; we simply have to continue on the path taken by those who preceded us and who made the leather district great”.