Scientists Produces Sustainable Green Leather Sheets

Jul, 2021 - By SMI

Scientists Produces Sustainable Green Leather Sheets

A new research experiment was performed to produce the sustainable leather sheets as an alternative for the original leather at faster rate.

The production of leather was carried out from animal skins for a long time. The practice has environmental consequences of harming animals. Scientists from VTT Research Centre in Finland came up with the new innovative modern processing techniques as sustainable alternative to it. They planned to develop continuous sheets of alternative leather, basically made from fungi, at commercial scales. As like convectional leather production requires mass livestock farming along with expanded land, water and energy, the alternate greener leather is made up of synthetic materials that requires massive amount of toxic chemicals for production. Both the leather productions practices carry similar risks to the environment.

Researcher approached towards the green leather production began with mycelium, which are thread-like webs of organic materials that lie beneath the ground. Mycelium supports mushrooms that were grown underground to form green leather. This biomass formed a sheet and was refined to produce a skin-like material with similar strength and texture as like real leather. It also offers pattern and colour variations without any supporting or backing materials.

In 2019, scientists revealed their process for the first time; however they were not able to scale the produced sheet in industrial-style. The mycelium cultivation was limited to the two-dimensional plan. To overcome the limitations, researchers developed new patent-pending technology that allowed liquid fermentation in common bioreactors to scale up the production commercially. The new technique allowed scientists to roll out continuous sheets of leather at a speed of 1 meter/minute. It enhanced mycelium leather production at large. The scientists claimed the technology could be used for industrial production methods as it effective in operations.

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