A Bibliometric Study of the Unhairing and Liming of the Leather Tanning Process

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Josep M. Morera
Esther Bartolí
Patrícia Cebollada
Luisa F. Cabeza


Unhairing and liming are the most polluting operations of the leather tanning process. Over the years, this sector has been investigated increasingly. Hence, this paper aims to explore and analyze the scientific activity of this field of research with a new view, applying bibliometrics techniques. The method of the study is based on a search and collection of publications indexed in Scopus. Subsequently, bibliometric data were extracted from the corresponding publications. Graphics and bibliometric maps were made to obtain quantitative results and the relationships between countries, authors, journals, and keywords. The results show an upward trend over the last 100 years or so, where the topic of most of the publications has reversed from being purely about engineering and process to focus on the big environmental issue generated by traditional unhairing. At the same time, research in this field has shifted to countries with the biggest tanning industry, such as China and India. In conclusion, bibliometrics has been a good method to know the current state of scientific literature and the timeline of this field of research, which will allow for a deepening in alternative methods to traditional unhairing and advance of the environmental concern caused by these polluting operations.

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