LEATHER | Enzymatic beamhouse

Overcoming beamhouse challenges


In the beamhouse process there is a great deal of innovation potential – and that can have a positive impact on your business success. In partnership with Novozymes, LANXESS has developed the Peltec X-Zyme® technology, a completely new, enzyme-based soaking and unhairing solution that overcomes current beamhouse challenges.

The X-Zyme® process is a groundbreaking technology for the beamhouse stage of the leather production process. The use of two microbial enzymes in the soaking and liming noticeably improves the quality of the pelt, reduces the amount of waste and makes the entire process much more efficient. The new, enzyme-based technology was developed in collaboration with Danish biotechnology specialists Novozymes A/S, Bagsværd, who also manufacture the two pure enzymes by means of bacterial fermentation.

Unique 2-step process technology
Peltec X-Zyme® S, which is used in the soak, is a glucosidase – i.e. a carbohydrate-splitting enzyme – with customized properties which include rapid opening-up and accelerated rehydration of the hide. This means that excellent soaking results can be obtained after just four to six hours. And as the enzyme has no proteolytic activity, the soaking process can be extended – e.g. overnight – without damaging the collagen.

In the liming process, Peltec X-Zyme® U, a specific protease with high selectivity for pre-keratin, is applied to remove the hair and the epidermis. This product primarily targets the basal membrane of the epidermis, thereby loosening the hair roots and preparing the the subsequent unhairing.

There is no need for reductive chemicals that are required in conventional hair-saving processes and yet Peltec X-Zyme® U tackles the residual hair root problem. Further advantages of the new process are a lower effluent load and reduced need for chemicals.


Production-scale trials of both, the products and the process, at customers’ plants have proven their efficiency and reliability. The X-Zyme® process is robust and can be controlled very accurately and reproducibly by means of parameters such as the temperature and the pH of the float. The new process ideally meets all the main requirements with regard to productivity, product quality and environmental protection.