On 20 September in Santa Croce was presented the final act of Life Biopol, a research project for the development of tanning biopolymers produced from biomass and industrial waste co-financed by the European Union under the LIFE 2014-2020 programme. Led by Codyeco, the historic chemical industry in the Tuscan leather district, the project launched in 2015 involved the Spanish tanneries Inpelsa and Dercosa, the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and the Vicenza company Ilsa operating in the field of biotechnology.
The Life Biopol project set as a goal the synthesis of a new class of biopolymers that could represent an innovative eco-sustainable alternative to the use of chemical auxiliaries derived from petrochemicals currently used in the tanning process. All this in a circular economy perspective and in order to reduce the pollutant load in retanning discharges, as well as water consumption and in general the environmental impact of the tanning process.
Thanks to the project, a new class of bio-based polymers was developed and tested to be used as a sustainable alternative to the commonly used synthetic tannins. According to the data collected by researchers, the environmental footprint of the tanning process made with Life Biopol is much lower compared to that of a traditional process. Biopol technology will now be placed on the market.