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CLRI’s Biocatalyst cuts effluent discharge in leather industries


Bio-catalyst helps in processing leather in an eco-friendly manner.

Product or concept

Developed amylase (enzyme) based bio-catalyst used in leather processing.

Problem being solved

To cut down harmful effluent discharge during leather processing.

Process or technology involved

  • Applied genetic engineering methodologies to conventional amylase enzyme.
  • This technique allowed for improvement of the enzyme’s properties.
  • High quantities of the enzyme are produced during the fermentation process.

Sustainability benefits

  • Increases quality of effluent water by decreasing BOD.
  • Reduces amount of chromium present in the effluent water discharge.

User segments that will benefit

Leather Industries

People or organizations involved


Innovations or USPs

  • Reduces the time taken to process the skin at the pre-tanning stage. (The pre-tanning process generates 60-70% of total pollution during processing).
  • Amount of effluent discharge is considerably reduced due to a threefold reduction in water usage.
  • Up to 95% of the enzyme can be recovered and reused, after a single process.

Related engineering, science or business topics

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering

Other interesting highlights

  • The biocatalyst is stable at a high temperature (approx. 90° C) and pH.
  • Since no chemicals are used in the process, the chemical oxygen demand drops by about 35%
  • Decreases the post treatment costs of effluent water.

Lab located at:



The Toxic Price Of Leather - Sean Gallagher

Inside an Indian Tannery | The Ganges

Take a journey for this topic: Learn more, experience stuff, do something...

Know more about the people behind this

CLRI’s biocatalyst cuts effluent discharge during leather processing : The video details the team's journey in developing the biocatalyst for leather processing.

Make a visit to get a first-hand experience

CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute : For more information regarding leather processing and effluent treatment, you can contact them through their website.

Involve yourself/participate in activities

Purchase the product/solution

Dr.C Muralidharan : For more information regarding the developed biocatalyst, you can contact the leather processing department through their website.

Connect with experts

Dr.C Muralidharan : He is the Chief Scientist and Head of Leather Processing Department at CSIR - Central Leather Research Institute in Chennai.

Experiment through do-it-yourself projects

Learn more

How to Tan Quality Leather and Avoid Bad Leather | Saddleback Leather Co. : The video details the various processes involved in the leather industry and also explains the differences between various leather qualities.

Introduction to the treatment of tannery effluents : The article contains a gist of the processes involved in treating leather industry effluents.

Why biocatalysis is so on trend : The video provides information on why biocatalysts are becoming popular in treatment of industrial effluents.

Do You Know What ‘Green Chemistry’ Is? If You Want A Safer Planet, You Should : The article provides a gist of how green chemistry helps industrial processes become more eco-friendly and sustainable.

Treatment of tannery effluent at ECCO in The Netherlands : The video explains the different processes involved in treating effluents from the leather industry.