A Smit & zoon study recently showed that a known technique from the food and feed industry can also be applied on leather. This opens up a new way of studying the oxidation processes on leather, the outcomes of which can be of potential use to minimise the risk of Chrome VI formation on leather.

Learning more about leather oxidation processes could help the leather industry to become more sustainable, which is in line with our CSR ambition to create a community that initiates and boosts activities on Corporate Social Responsibility to make the leather value chain largely sustainable by 2025.

This study tested how the presence of an antioxidant in different types of fatliquors could potentially influence the oxidation processes on leather. In our next steps we will investigate if the oxidation technique can be further developed into a ‘shelf-life’ test for leather i.e. if it can be used to determine the long term oxidation stability of leathers and their potential for Chrome VI formation during ageing.

In November 2015, Dr Guido Batema from Smit & zoon’s research department presented the outcomes of the company’s research on the oxidation stability of fatliquors at the International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies (IULTCS) Conference at the Feevale University in Novo Hamburgo (Brazil).