Constructing a robust chrome-free leather tanned by biomass-derived polyaldehyde via crosslinking with chitosan derivatives

Wei Ding, Xiaoyan Pang, Zhiwen Ding, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Zhicheng Jiang, Bi Shi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Tanning leather using green biomass-derived polyaldehyde (BPA) is a promising approach to eliminate the widespread Cr pollution in leather industry, but unsatisfactory thermal stability and mechanical strength of the correlated resultant leather limited its industrial application. Herein, we report a green methodology to strengthen BPA tanned leather via introducing chitosan derivatives to crosslink with free aldehyde groups on dialdehyde carboxymethylcellulose (DCMC) tanned leather. H2O2 was employed for purposely modifying chitosan to prepare low-molecular chitosan (LMC) with lower positive charge. The interactions between chitosan/LMC and DCMC were investigated to elucidate the strengthening mechanism. Owing to the weakened hydrogen bonding network and higher accessibility of amino groups on LMC, LMC could react much easier with aldehyde groups on DCMC. Moreover, LMC could efficiently penetrate into the internal fiber networks of leather for further interlocking, which enhanced the thermal stability and the lubricating degree of crust leather and, as a result, the tensile and tear strengths were significantly improved by 79.3% and 25.3%, respectively. Therefore, the use of LMC can promote the widespread application of BPA tanned leather, benefiting to the complete elimination of hazardous Cr pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122771
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2020


  • Chitosan
  • Chrome-free tanning
  • Dialdehyde carboxymethylcellulose
  • HO modification
  • Strengthening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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