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Soaking formulations that can soften and remove hardened bovine manure: Part II, Effects on quality of leather

Ramos, Mila Aldema, Muir, Zerlina E., Ashby, Richard D.
Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association. 2012 v.107 no.5 pp. 167-174
cattle, cattle manure, glycerol, leather, leather industry, mechanical properties, mechanical stress, soaking, sodium carbonate, surfactants
Previously developed soaking formulations were shown to soften adobe-type manure and facilitating its removal thus limiting its damaging effects on bovine hides. The mechanical stress due to the weight and pressure of hard to remove adobe-type manure on bovine hides can cause unwanted holes in the finished leather. The incorporation of crude glycerol and sodium carbonate with or without sophorolipid (a biodegradable surfactant) in the soaking solution was found to be effective in the softening and subsequent removal of the adobe-type manure. The leather industry is interested in the potential effects of our newly developed soaking formulations on leather quality. The standard soaking solution that industry generally utilizes is composed of a high concentration of antibiotic and a surfactant, whereas we used 0.1% Proxel GXL and 0.15% Boron-TS, respectively. In this study, we report that by utilizing crude glycerol and sodium carbonate, only 10-25% of the standard soaking solution is necessary to soften and facilitate the removal of adobe-type manure. The mechanical properties of the leather products made from the hides soaked in these newly developed formulations were improved thus enhancing the overall quality of the finished leather.