Advanced masking agent for leather tanning from stepwise degradation and oxidation of cellulose

Zhicheng Jiang, Shuguang Xu, Wei Ding, Mi Gao, Jiajun Fan, Changwei Hu, Bi Shi, James Hanley Clark

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An oligosaccharide-based masking agent suitable for chrome-free metal tanning was produced from cellulose via a stepwise degradation and oxidation process. Firstly, an AlCl3-NaCl-H2O/γ-valerolactone (GVL) biphasic solvent system was established for cellulose conversion (87.6%), which allowed in situ separation of the oligosaccharides and valuable small molecules into the two phases. Then, a H2O2 oxidation process enabled further degradation of the oligosaccharides and introduced –CHO/–COOH groups. This process strengthened the surface charge of the oligosaccharides, enhancing their coordination ability with metal ions. The post-oxidized fraction, together with added Zr species, exhibited satisfactory tanning performance, with a shrinkage temperature of 85.2 °C for the tanned leather. Al/Zr species could spontaneously coordinate with O atoms of O[double bond, length as m-dash]C(2) in the carboxylic group of post-oxidized oligosaccharides, which promoted the penetration of Al/Zr species into the leather matrix for efficient crosslinking reactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4044-4050
Number of pages7
JournalGreen Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2021

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© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2021.

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