Less risks for workers, net reduction of chlorides and sulphates in water discharges, halving of carbon dioxide produced and 24-hours savings on production times: this is the revolution that the Dermacolor company is ready to launch to optimise the tanning processing cycle, an innovative and certified process line called D-Light Blue, which allows you to completely skip the so-called pickel phase, the most dangerous phase of chrome tanning, with significant advantages on the environmental and social sustainability of the production process and with significant production times and costs savings.
An innovation that Dermacolor has already started to offer its customers, including some of the most important tanneries supplying the main fashion brands. Rooted in the Tuscan tanning district and well represented in the main Italian and world tanning districts, the company specialises in the production of chemical products for tanning and leather processing, occupying an important slice of the sector in which it operates. Thanks to its commitment to the development of new products in its laboratories, Dermacolor is a reference point for companies in the challenge for the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the tanning process, which is increasingly important in a constantly evolving market.
Hence the challenge of the D-Light Blue system, born from an idea of Umberto Palagini (historical founder of the company together with Carlo Meucci) and then further developed in the Dermacolor laboratories. The result is the creation of two new products which, if used according to a process validated by the company, allows you to skip the preparation phase for chrome tanning, the so-called pickel phase, without however modifying the technical and aesthetic result of the tanned leather. In the traditional system, before starting the actual tanning, a preparatory phase is in fact necessary where sulfuric acid is introduced into the drum to facilitate the subsequent penetration of chromium into leather. The hydrogen sulphide generated by this process, which can be lethal if inhaled, has always been the main chemical risk factor for workers in the sector.
The D-Light Blue system now allows you to do without it, passing directly from the maceration phase to the tanning phase, reducing the days required for chrome tanning from 4 to 3. «With the traditional system – explains Andrea Meucci (today at the helm of the company together with Valentina Palagini) – after maceration, 3 hours of pickling are needed plus an entire ‘rest’ night. With our process, however, after two hours from the end of maceration, the chromium can be added immediately, without changing the characteristics of the final product».
D-Light Blue therefore proposes itself as the optimiser of chrome tanning, allowing companies to reduce processing times by one day, with savings of up to 25% on production costs, together with a drastic reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, equal to 47.5% less compared to the traditional system. It also benefits from the lower environmental impact of water discharges, with a percentage reduction ranging between 64 and 84% of chlorides and between 33 and 59% of sulphates. Furthermore, by eliminating the picking phase from the production process, D-Light Blue will eliminate the main risk factor for workers’ health.
All this through an ISO 17033 “Ethical Claims and supporting information” certified process, which guaranteed the first validation of ethical claim downstream of the monitoring plan and consequent evidence by the certification body Bureau Veritas.
«It is the result of a path that we have started in 2019 – says Valentina Palagini, CEO of Dermacolor – and that we have continued throughout 2020 despite the difficulties related to the pandemic. A signal that also wants to be of trust and stimulus, in a sector that needs innovation and research to continue on the safety and sustainability path”.