Water reuse in the post-tanning process: minimizing environmental impact of leather production.

Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research(2022)

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Post-tanning wastewater is very diversified, as the post-tanning stage should meet the desirable properties of the leather for the final product, with low standardization of the process (compared to beamhouse and tanning). This makes post-tanning effluent reuse less feasible, and reuse in the post-tanning stage still needs to be explored. This work aims to evaluate the reuse of liquid effluents in the post-tanning process. The work methodology consisted of (i) characterization of water streams (groundwater, liquid effluent after primary treatment, and liquid effluent after secondary treatment); (ii) pilot-scale post-tanning tests using groundwater, primary effluent, and secondary effluent; (iii) characterization of the residual baths from pilot-scale tests (pH, conductivity, total solids, chemical oxygen demand, biochemical oxygen demand, chloride, hardness and oil and grease); and (iv) testing the leather obtained for total sulfated ash and organoleptic properties. Results showed that the primary effluent and the secondary effluent could be reused in pilot-scale post-tanning tests. There was an increase in the conductivity of the residual baths when liquid effluents were reused, which confirms the accumulation of salts in the effluents after their reuse.
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