Innovative equipment for dehairing by oxidation
During the hair removal in the wet processing of raw hides, specific alkaline substances as lime and sodium sulphide are used. Such treatment determines a strong impact on the quality of the derived wastewater as well as on safety of the working environment, because of the released organic pollution loading, suspended solids and sulphides. The latter in the pickling phase, in acidic conditions, releases in the environment gaseous sulphidric acid, thus having an important weight in terms of environmental impact and risk for workers.
Several studies and research have been carried out to find alternative solutions, and one of the most promising implies the substitution of sulphides with hydrogen peroxide to break keratin S-S hair bond; such process is known as oxidative liming process and it seems the most convincing technological solution.
In comparison with the present state of art, MINOSSE project aims at progressing forward, using Non-Thermal Plasma technology for the in situ generation of oxidant species in the aqueous medium during hair removal process, as alternative to hydrogen peroxide. Such solution allows obtaining a more constant and oxidative reaction environment during time, compared with hydrogen peroxide use, reducing alkaline chemicals and treatment time. Project MINOSSE proposes further innovative elements:
- In order to drastically reduce the duration of new process development and related equipment design, a modeling study based on FEA related to the phase change process from plasma to aqueous phase will be carried out
- A pilot plant interfaced with common beamhouse drum reactors will be developed, having a high degree of automation, also due to the development of a process control logic based on s specific sensing system for the monitoring real-time of the dehairing process
All in all, the improvements introduced by the new dehairing process will be quantified on the environmental point of view by LCA and by means of safety assessment in working environment
ALPA (COORDINATOR): Tannery chemical industry, in MINOSSE deals with the development of the new dehairing process and its validation at pilot scale
TECNOCREO: Engineering company in industrial and environmental fields, in MINOSSE deals with the design of the new pilot equipment
FREESPACE: Engineering company in IoT and telecommunications fields, in MINOSSE deals with design and manufacturing of the process control system of the pilot reactor, comprising its sensing system for real-time process monitoring
PMI: Engineering company in industrial and environmental fields, in MINOSSE deals with the production of the new pilot equipment
INGENIA: Service and consulting company for environmental, health and safety aspects, in MINOSSE deals with the safety risk assessment in workplaces and LCA
CONSORZIO POLO TECNOLOGICO MAGONA: Research center expert in R&D activities in different fields of chemical engineering and industrial chemistry, in MINOSSE deals with the development of the new dehairing process and its validation at lab scale and the selection of sensor for the sensing system
Laboratori ARCHA srl (subcontractor): R&D and analysis laboratory, in MINOSSE deals with the development of the NTP equipment at lab and pilot scale and with the chemical characterization of on the new dehairing process to assess the reduction of the environmental impacts