Supply chain projects

IKEM contributes to several supply chain projects to build the future of the Vicenza area where it operates.
Our research is focused on sustainability as a continuous reduction of environmental impact, together with consistent qualitative results for the tanning industry.
In June 2017 the project finished

Green Leather Industry for the Environment – greenLIFE –


The project, certified by the IUR commission, was funded by the European Union and aimed at developing new technologies for reducing the impact of the tanning industry on the environment. IKEM was the only chemical company to participate in addition to Dani and Gruppo Mastrotto tanneries, Ilsa from the biotechnology sector and technical means for agriculture and Acque del Chiampo, a water purification services manager. The project offered many different perspectives, innovation, and design ability. The solidarity of the companies involved was a first step in a shared path in the Arzignano tanning district.

The Green LIFE Research Project Plan, managed by Dr. Marco Nogarole, received the certification of the IUR commission of the International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies association. This certification recognizes and legitimizes research projects that meet the scientific requirements for the validation of the project and meet the real needs of the tanning industry.

The results of an experiment with alternative liming and dehairing:
A new enzymatic liming process has led to the development of an alternative hair removal system with recovery or destruction of the hair. With certain enzymes, depilation was achieved by reducing the amount of sulphides used in the case of hair recovery by 70% and by 66% in the case of destruction. The total elimination of sulphides was not achieved in order to avoid the risk of damage to the grain of the leather. A further experiment was carried out by combining the enzymatic action and oxidizing effect of hydrogen peroxide, completely substituting the sulphide and obtaining fully dehaired hides.

Results of an experiment with a new tanning agent from renewable sources:
A new tanning with raw vegetable materials has allowed the complete replacement of chromium or other synthetic products in tanning, using natural products free of formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde and other toxic substances. The processed leathers, both on a laboratory and pre-industrial scale in the tannery, showed good stabilization (shrinkage temperature higher than 75 ° C) and organoleptic properties in line with the requirements for the production of wet white or metal free leathers.


In August 2006 IKEM (previously STEFANI CHIMIS) was selected by the region for the second year in a row (n ° 2618) with the project entitled:


STUDY OF THE POTENTIAL OF NEW NANOCOMPOSITES ON FINISHED LEATHER



Results of the study:
Research has shown that the inclusion of SiO2 nanoparticles in polyurethane formulations for fixatives significantly increases mechanical strength in general and in particular resistance to abrasion, both wet and with alcohol.

In addition the organic functionalizations of the nanoparticles have highlighted the positive influence both on the physico-chemical stability of the final product and on the aesthetic characteristics of the final finishing film.



In August 2005 IKEM (previously STEFANI CHIMIS) won the selection of the regional call (n ° 2114) with the project entitled:


STUDY ON THE TOXICITY AND DENSITY OF THE FUMES OF FIRE-RESISTANT LEATHER


Results of the study:
The production of leathers with the greater characteristics required by the aeronautical, naval, railway and furnishing sectors of public premises is possible only through the use of fireproofing agents and not with the simple combination of traditional products. Therefore synergies have been identified between the available fireproofing products and the various possible application methods. The study led to the development of special technologies which fulfill necessary requirements with ecological advantages in the production phase. This enables greater efficiency in terms of fixation to the substrate, a greater exhaustion of the residual baths using products that are not in the lists of substances subject to restriction.

The return to acquired knowledge in the district is of great interest for the producers of technical articles and could include all producers in the future if legislative or regulatory bodies decide to apply these types of tests to the home furnishing market.