Press Releases

2014-07-28

Sustainable Leather Management

LANXESS at the All China Leather Exhibition 2014, 
September 3 to 5, Shanghai New International Expo Centre,
 Hall E2, Stand E03

Cologne/Shanghai -

LANXESS will showcase new technologies for a future-oriented leather production at the All China Leather Exhibition 2014 in Shanghai. From September 3 – 5 the specialty chemicals company will present sustainable solutions, which enable economic interest, ecological soundness and consumer benefits.

High-performance biopolymers

The Levotan X-Biomer technology provides a new class and range of genuine retanning agents which effectively utilizes biopolymers for a more sustainable production of high quality leather. As an alternative to synthetic retanning agents, the patent-pending Levotan X-Biomer range includes a complete portfolio for all key steps of the retanning process. The chemistry behind it however, is completely different. All products are based on biodegradable polymers, which are produced from renewable raw materials and specifically functionalized for retanning applications in a biologically engineered process. Thus, the Levotan X-Biomer technology enables the production of wet blue leather which fulfills the high technical requirements demanded, e.g. for automotive leather or children's footwear.

At the same time, tanners benefit from a significantly improved sustainability profile compared to traditional retanning agents. One of the key features is the reduction of the retanning effluent load. Due to the amphoteric character of the X-Biomer products which contain both positive and negative charges a good fixation and exhaustion can be achieved. Compared to traditional retanning polymers the chemical oxygen demand (COD) is even up to 30 percent lower when using the alternative Levotan X-Biomer product.

Another decisive advantage is the high biodegradability of X-Biomer retanning agents which are based on organic components that can easily be degraded by microorganisms in the effluent treatment. Thus, tanners benefit from a more efficient COD elimination in their waste water. The high biodegradability has been confirmed by an independent testing laboratory which even classified two X-Biomer products as “readily biodegradable”.

Water-based pigments

The new water-based pigment range Aquaderm X-Pigments for leather finishing has been developed for all kinds of premium leather applications where a very high standard of finishing quality is required, e.g. in the automotive segment. Excellent light fastness, heat and migration resistance, brilliancy and exact dosing properties can be achieved with these pigments. Additionally, finishers benefit from a reliable product consistency, which ensures consistent color reproducibility.

The entire product range consists of solvent-free pigment dispersions featuring very fine particles and with a low polymer binder content. All Aquaderm X-Pigments products are casein-free and do not contain any emulsifiers, brightening agents or other additives capable of causing migration. According to current RSL, REACH and GDSL obligations, the Aquaderm X-Pigments meet all important criteria which means they are free of VOC, heavy metals, chrome VI, formaldehyde and phthalate.

The Leather business unit is part of LANXESS’ Performance Chemicals segment, which achieved total sales of EUR 2.13 billion in fiscal 2013.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.3 billion in 2013 and roughly 17,000 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and DJSI Europe) and FTSE4Good as well as CDP’s Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).