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Biobased films prepared from collagen solutions derived from un-tanned hides

Liu, Cheng-Kung, Latona, Nicholas P., Taylor, Maryann M., Aldema-Ramos, Mila L.
Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association 2015 v.110 no.2 pp. 25-32
biobased products, biocompatibility, collagen, crosslinking, films (materials), food packaging, industry, leather, liming, mechanical properties, physical properties, product quality, solid wastes, solidification, tannery waste, waste utilization
The U.S. hide and leather industries are facing challenges of meeting environmental imperatives; quantifying, maintaining, and improving current hides and leather product quality; developing new processes and products; and improving utilization of waste. One of our efforts to address these new challenges is to develop innovative uses and novel biobased products from hides to improve prospective markets and to secure a viable future for the hides and leather industries. We previously investigated how to produce nonwoven and green composites from collagen fiber networks, which can be extracted either from un-tanned hides or from tannery solid wastes, such as splits or trimmings. Recently, efforts were made to prepare biobased films from un-tanned hides, which also have many potential commercial applications in medical care and food packaging. Collagen fiber networks were obtained from split hides that have been processed to remove the noncollagenous materials through the hair removal and liming steps. This study focused on understanding the effects of processing steps such as bating and crosslinking treatments on the morphology and physical properties of biobased films from un-tanned hides. Results showed that the concentration of collagen solution and the methods of crosslinkers during the film formation process have significant effects on the properties of resultant films. Higher concentration of collagen and addition of crosslinkers after solidification of films yielded better mechanical properties. The results of this research are instrumental to the production of biobased films which have wide applications in either the medical field due to excellent biocompatibility or food packaging because of great mechanical properties and edibility.