LEATHER | Resource efficient production of leather chemicals (ReeL)


LANXESS has developed a completely new type of technology for tanneries in a special research project. Thanks to a modular facility it will be possible to completely recycle residues from leather manufacturing – and on location too. Alongside plant biomass, the main raw materials in this new process are shavings containing collagen and waste cuts. These can be used to produce “X-Biomer” brand retanning agents for manufacturing leather.  LANXESS’s Leather business unit has built a pilot plant together with the Leverkusen-based research institute INVITE. Practical tests are taking place on the premises of the third project partner, HELLER-LEDER GmbH Co. KG tannery in Hehlen, Lower Saxony.

A medium-sized tannery generates several metric tons of shavings as by-products every day. Using a production unit leased from LANXESS, the plant can in the future manufacture a comparable volume of liquid X-Biomer directly on site – fully automatically and virtually independently. Every trace of the waste is recycled, leaving no residue, and without generating any emissions.

For its “Resource-efficient manufacturing of leather chemicals” (ReeL) project, LANXESS has been awarded the Climate and Environment Innovation Prize in the category “Enviromentally friendly product and services”. The arward is presented by the Federation of German Industries and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conversation, Building and Nuclear Safety. 133 companies competed with their products and services for prizes in five categories. The jury’s decision was based on the scientific evaluation by the Frauenhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research.





  • Luis López-Rémon (1st from right) and Dietrich Tegtmeyer (4th from right) of LANXESS's Leather business unit, together with the project partners of HELLER-LEDER and INVITE, accepted the German Innovation Award for Climate and the Environment for their project “Resource-efficient production of leather chemicals” (ReeL). Photo: Kruppa/IKU

    LANXESS receives the German Innovation Award for Climate and the Environment

    LANXESS, the specialty chemicals company, has been honored with the 2017 German Innovation Award for Climate and the Environment.