Waterless leather dyeing with dense carbon dioxide as solvent for dyes
Conventional leather dyeing consumes high amounts of dyes and increases pollution of tannery wastewater. We have focused on the reduction of dyestuff and the avoidance of water and additional chemicals for the colorization of leather. Waterless leather dyeing with supercritical CO2 as solvent for the dye 1-(methylamino)anthraquinone was performed in a technical scale autoclave. The intensity and uniformity of the dyed leathers was assessed using spectroscopic color measurements. The rub fastness was assessed according to DIN EN ISO 11640. In the result, waterless dyeing at 100 bar and 40 °C leads to uniform, intensive colorizations of the leather surface at a usage of 0.1 g of dye per square foot of leather. The dyed leathers achieve the highest rub fastness grades. The exhaustion of dyestuff is almost 100%. The waterless dyeing process offers potential to save significant amounts of dyestuff and reduce wastewater emissions by 100%.