German Award For Environmental Innovation Goes To Lanxess

Feb. 23, 2018
A modular plant for the extraction of retanning agents from leather residues receives the award in the “Environmentally-friendly products” category.

Specialty chemicals company Lanxess is honored with the 2017 German Innovation Award for Climate and the Environment. State Secretary at Ministry for Environment Jochen Flasbarth and Holger Lösch, deputy director general of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), presented the award to Luis López-Remón, head of the Lanxess leather business unit during an event in Berlin.

Lanxess received the award in the category “Environmentally-friendly products and services” for an innovative technology developed for the recycling of residues from the leather manufacturing process. Under the title “Resource-efficient production of leather chemicals” (ReeL), the specialty chemicals company collaborated with the research institute INVITE from Leverkusen on a concept for a modular plant for the production of a retanning agent with the brand name “X-Biomer” from leather offcuts, trimmings and shavings – up until now generally a waste product for disposal, and plant-based biomass. The plant can be operated on-site in tanneries.

The modular production plant constructed by INVITE is currently being tested under realistic production conditions at the Heller-Leder tannery. The innovation project receives funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as a part of the “r+Impuls – innovative technologies for resource efficiency – impulses for industrial resource efficiency” initiative. The funding initiative provides support for projects that take innovative technologies and products out of the laboratory and make them commercially viable.

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