Responsible Care award 2012
AkzoNobel has won the European Responsible Care award 2012, just weeks after being ranked top of the Chemicals supersector in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Awarded by the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), the latest honor recognizes the introduction of new technology which is helping to revolutionize the leather and protein industries. It’s the second honor to be bestowed on the company’s DeMythe®LDD technology for the ‘Sustainable degreasing and dewatering of animal skins’, following the 2012 Responsible Care award presented earlier this year by the Association of the Dutch Chemicals Industry (VNCI).
Sustainable degreasing and dehydration technology
With more than three billion raw hides and skins processed annually, the leather and protein industry is an important part of the world economy. One of the key phases in the leather and protein production process is removing fat efficiently from the animal skin. This technology is included in the Best Available Technology Reference Document for the Tanning of Hides and Skins 2013. It is the only emerging technique that promises pollution prevention and control techniques considered for the degreasing step in this document.
The use of DeMythe® LDD
Traditional degreasing agents are harmful to health and the environment, but now AkzoNobel - together with our Spanish partner GRIT - have developed a degreasing and dehydration technology, based on the solvent Dimethyl Ether (DME). The result is a sustainable technology called DeMythe® LDD that delivers top-of-the-range degreasing and dehydration power in a closed loop process. DeMythe® LDD uses DME as an extraction solvent because of its outstanding properties as a water and fat solvent. Moreover, DME can be used as extraction solvent in the production of foodstuffs and food ingredients under EU Directive 2009/32/EC. It´s precisely these unique capabilities that gave us and our partner GRIT the scope to be able to develop a technology that will remove water and fat from animal skins and hides in a closed loop process and operating at relatively low temperatures. After the process cycle has been completed, the DME is separated from the water and fat, and then recycled. The recovery rate is >99%. In other words, low waste, high degreasing and drying performance, low energy consumption, high product quality and high cost efficiency. Hence, it contributes to a better environment.
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