The Central Leather Research Institute of CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) recently developed leather-like materials from plant straw wastes. Due to overpopulation, limited raw materials and environmental concerns, alternatives for leathers from natural resources are high in demand. The available leather alternatives are predominantly synthetic materials made form synthetic polymers which are eco-sensitive The process of making leather like material from plant straw has been patented for possible utilization in making consumer products under the project, “Much of Muchness: Leather like materials for lifestyle product applications”.
Some of the highlight features of the process include, the process utilizes entire plant straw agricultural waste product and chemicals used without discarding any liquid or solid waste into the environment based on the zero waste concept, the process uses very little water, it is inexpensive, the developed material is highly degradable and non-hazardous to the environment, the chemicals used in the process are inexpensive, non-toxic and abundantly available in local markets and the prepared flexible sheet can be used textile, leather packaging and other lifestyle product industries. The technology has a TRL of 3 and has already been commercialized.
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