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Eco-friendly leather processes based on the usage of natural products have become a potentially attractive issue for leather industry during the last few decades. Synthetic protective chemicals like bactericides used in most soaking process are known as hazardous substances and cause tannery effluents with high concentrations of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD). In the present study, the effect of tannic acid on microorganisms, skin, wool and effluent were investigated in order to demonstrate the applicability of tannic acid in soaking process instead of commonly used bactericides. The bacterial load (cfu/ml), COD and Nitrogen Content (N) of the soaking effluents and Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) content of skins and wools were investigated. Application of 0.5 and 1 wt% tannic acid concentrations was more effective than commercial bactericide, while comparable results were achieved by 0.1 and 0.3 wt% tannic acid. The application of tannic acid for soaking process resulted in lower COD and N values of effluents. The results show that tannic acid has the potential to be an alternative, eco-friendly bactericide for leather industry by reducing the pollution of leather soaking process.
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