Project Database

Development of a System for Post-consumer Leather Products Recycling

Waste is a common problem of affluent societies. Especially when people can afford greater convenience and more purchases, they tend to throw away more rubbish. Hong Kong is no exception to this. There is limited land resource in Hong Kong. Landfills, which are an essential element of any sustainable waste management chain, need notable land resource on the other hand. There is an extra cost to recycling goods. If the market is not willing to pay the increased cost for a recycled product, it is unlikely that companies will invest. However, if waste material can be recycled, this presents an opportunity that may be attractive to customers. Leather recycling is now a big challenge in the world.

To implement a circular economy approach into the leather industry, this project is proposed a novel recycled leather materials separation recycling system based on a mechanical recycling process and no chemical involved. The true innovation lies on one side on the complementary of the different machines and on the other side on specific development.

This project aims to design a recycled leather materials separation recycling system for post-consumer leather products to perform complete separation and reclamation of material streams in an economically sustainable manner. This project will identify the material nature of post-consumer leather products for designing the recycled leather materials separation recycling system. This is a new attempt to research and develop the system to improve materials recycle efficiency and productivity. A novel separation mechanism and process parameter for removing the chemical substance in the post-consumer leather products will be developed. Supercritical Carbon-dioxide (SO-CO2) and Bio-solvent will be considered in this project to remove the chemical, dye and especially glue, thus leather may fall apart from Polyurethane (PU) sheet.

The project goal is to achieve a robust and reliable materials separation method for recycling. It is an applied research which can perform sustainable practice to leather industry.

Project No. (ITC) ITP/003/20TP
Project Type Platform
Project Co-ordinator Dr. YAO Lei
Research Institute The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles & Apparel Limited
ITF Amount HK$ 5,658,000
Start Date DD/MM/YY 2020-09-07
Completion Date DD/MM/YY 2022-09-06
Burberry Asia Limited
H&M Hennes & Mauritz (Far East) Ltd