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Metal, Aldehyde and Vegetable Free Tanning – The Stabilization of Collagen

Posted May 30, 2019

In an effort to reduce health and environmental impact, the Seeker is looking for a leather tanning system that is free from metals and aldehyde containing materials that can still produce a sustainable quality product. This can be summarized as chemical, thermal and microbiological stabilization of the collagen.

Leather. Image credit: Tomascastelazo, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-3.0

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires a method that can meet the Solution Requirements and rationale that can convince the Seeker it is worth a trial. The Seeker will run testing on those methods deemed acceptable. Acceptable Results of Testing will determine awards.


One of the more important properties of a tanned hide is its heat stability in hot water. It is required to have minimal shrinkage after submersion in water at 85 C for 3 minutes. In order to achieve this, the collagen must be stabilized in the process. Obtaining this property using a process that is metals (particularly Chromium, Aluminum and Zirconium) and non-glutaraldehyde producing (aldehyde free) is the Challenge. Product properties must be maintained as well. More details are provided in the Detailed Description.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on July 20th, 2019.

Source: InnoCentive

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