Extract of Trema Orientalis (L.) Stem Bark: A Potential Source of Environmentally Friendly Tanning Agent for Leather Industry

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Murshid Jaman Chowdury
Md. Abdur Razzaq
Md. Imran Biswas
Ariful Hai Quadery
Md. Tushar Uddin


Researchers around the world are in continuous endeavor to develop environment friendly tanning agent due to adverse effect of conventionally used chromium during leather tanning. Recent trend of tanning is thus heading to chrome-free and greener chemical processing options. Vegetable tanning is an exoteric leather processing technique because of their lower pollution load on the environment. Considering the inadequacy and high costing for the commercialized tannins, development of alternative tannins from locally available plants and their characterizations are important. In this research, the stem barks of Trema Orientalis (L.) were extracted at different temperatures employing water solvent with or without additives (sodium hydroxide or sodium sulphite) to attain phenolic-rich extractives. To ascertain appropriateness as a vegetable tanning agent, the obtained extracts were thereafter characterized in respect to yield, total phenolic content, tannin content and molecular structure. The extraction yield for all extracts improves and the quality remains nearly unchanged with temperature rising. The elevated concentration of chemical additives enhances the extraction yield but lessens the quality of extracts. In terms of extraction yield and the quality of extracts the best condition for extraction was discerned at 80°C with water solvent. This water extract has a decent extent of phenolic and tannin content of 266.13 mg Gallic acid equivalent/ gm of dry extract and 30.12 % respectively. The final extract exhibits excellent leather retanning tendency comparable to the commercial quebracho tannins.

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