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Green leather is in this season

Fashionista’s after the latest in leather bags could soon have a ‘greener’ selection to choose from. Scientists in India have modified the tanning process making it far more eco-friendly, reports Anne Pichon in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI.

Tanning is a complex chemical process used to transform perishable raw hides and skins into durable leather. Unfortunately, as a result, high levels of pollution are released into the water. Raghava Rao and his team at the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) in Adyar have modified the process to make it into an eco-friendly, cost-efficient method.

The researchers found that simply reversing the order of the tanning and post-tanning steps can drastically improve the process. By also promoting non-chemical-based pre-tanning methods, they have reduced the amount chemicals released by 82% and made an energy saving of nearly 40% (Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, doi: 10.1002/jctb.1727).

According to Rao, “The significance is tremendous in the context of environmental challenges being faced by the leather industry”. Most importantly, no loss of the leather quality was observed when compared with conventional tanning methods.

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Contact: Lisa Richards, SCI Press Office on Tel: +44(0)207 5981548 Mob: +44(0)7791 688784 or Email:

About Chemistry & Industry

Chemistry & Industry magazine from SCI delivers news and comment from the interface between science and business. As well as covering industry and science, it focuses on developments that will be of significant commercial interest in five- to ten-years time. Published twice-monthly and free to SCI Members, it also carries authoritative features and reviews. Opinion-formers worldwide respect Chemistry & Industry for its independent insight.

About SCI

SCI is a unique international forum where science meets business on independent, impartial ground. Anyone can join, and the Society offers a chance to share information between sectors as diverse as food and agriculture, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, environmental science and safety. As well as publishing new research and running events, SCI has a growing database of member specialists who can give background information on a wide range of scientific issues.

Originally established in 1881, SCI is a registered charity with members in over 70 countries.

Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology

About the Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology

The Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology (JCTB) is an international peer-reviewed journal concerned with the application of scientific discoveries and advancements in chemical and biological technology that aim towards economically sustainable industrial production or are necessary for environmental protection. JCTB focuses on the interfaces between chemical technology and biotechnology, especially where these impact on health and safety and the environment.

JCTB is an SCI journal, published by John Wiley & Sons, on behalf of the Society of Chemical Industry, and is available in print (ISSN: 0268-2575) and online (ISSN: 1097-4660) via Wiley InterScience

For further information about the journal go to

About Wiley

John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., based in Chichester, England, is the largest subsidiary of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. provides must-have content and services to customers worldwide. Their core businesses include scientific, technical, and medical journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional and consumer books and subscription services; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley has publishing, marketing, and distribution centres in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb. Wiley's recently re-launched Internet site can be accessed at

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