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Fat containing wastes used in the tanning industry

IGCAR CHEMICALS, SL is a family business with more than 35 years of experience in the chemical sector. It has the headquarters and the factory, which includes the application laboratories, situated in Rubí, with a production capacity of 12,000 t/ year.

The company manufactures and sells products within various sectors such as textile, home & personal care, paper, tanning, water treatment and construction sector.

IGCAR uses waste from other companies as by-products in the fatliquoring process for leather, which consists of two basic production lines: oxisulfitation and sulfation. The raw materials that are used to be chemically modified, are vegetable oils (from the pressing of seeds) and animal fats. The chemical structure of these oils and fats corresponds to a triglyceride formed by chains of fatty acids with unsaturation.

A while ago, IGCAR proposed an eco-design project and improved the competitiveness of its oxisulfitation and sulfation line. The aim was to replace part of the refined triglycerides with oils generated as waste from industrial activities of other companies (in the Catalan by-product regulatory framework). This is how IGCAR becomes a recipient of recycled oils coming from production companies.

In the following formulation process, further additives are used such as mineral oils, fatty acids, non-chlorinated aliphatic solvents, aliphatic alcohols, glycerine and glycols. IGCAR is also investigating the partial substitution of these additives with equivalent recycled products.

As already mentioned, the waste valorisation in the business unit of IGCAR pursues a double objective: on the one hand, to apply eco-design criteria to the products they manufacture, and on the other hand to optimize the cost of the raw materials used to be more competitive in the market.