Speficic Objectives

The TAIMEE project aims at the production and market implementation of an innovative leather composite material to provide acoustical isolation in addition to thermal insulation properties for immediate application in building sector.

The material is elaborate with the waste generated in industries at the end of tanning process (e.g. wet-blue, crust, finished leather) and the companies that use leather to elaborate its products at very low energy consumption.

The project contributes to a better use of resources and raw materials for the insulation industry and to the reduction of the environmental impact in the tannery sector and in the production of leather goods (footwear, furniture, automotive), since 27.000 tn/year of finished leather waste is sent to a landfill sites in Europe (targets of the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC).

Also contributes to the implementation of eco friendly insulation material in the construction sector that improves the noise pollution and the energy efficiency of buildings and the reduction of CO2 emissions, according to the commitment of the European Directive 2010/31/EC on energy performance of buildings and Environmental Noise Directive 2002/49/EC.

Description of the proposed solution and summary of the work programme

This project offers a new solution for introducing new recycling methods for the production of recycled building products. The composite recycled leather material, which is in the pilot stage, has sound absorption and thermal insulation properties, making it useful to use as component of energy-efficient and indoor sound quality buildings.

The residue to be used comes from finished leather cuts that currently being sent to landfills by authorized agents.

The leather waste supply chain will strengthen, its homogenization and validation will be performed to take account the life-cycle approach and ensure the final disposal of this construction material.

The binder technology will be optimised to assure the industrial scaling up (the binder composition will include recycled and vegetal raw materials).

The first constructive application will be defined and the next step will be the industrial production of the panels.

The panels produced will be validated; their mechanical properties must meet requirements of constructive material, as well as its thermal conductivity and acoustic absorption properties.

The replication potential of the product will be considered, stressing to the different insulating solutions and different markets application.

The business and market exploitation and will be oriented to European level.

The work program includes six work packages:

1.    Management,
2.    Initial roll out of the insulation material into production,
3.    Scaling up to full production insulating panels,
4.    Construction material applications,
5.    Exploitation and business plan, and
6.    Dissemination activities.


Major outputs and results

The major outputs and results for the TAIMEE project are:

1.    Introduce into the market an innovative environmental friendly insulating material and set up the industrial methodology required for the efficient processing of leather waste materials and their reintegration in productive chain.

2.    Reduction of environmental impact of tannery and leather goods industries, using tons of waste diverted from landfills. The initial output could manage 10 tn/month (27.000 tn/year)

3.    Reduction of fossil resource consumption, raw materials for the manufacture of most conventional insulators: expanded and extruded polystyrene, polyurethane foam and mineral wool. The use of 1kg of eco-friendly binder (from vegetalable and recycled polyester) represents a reduction of 2.6 kg CO2 emission.

4.    Contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions and noise exposure, due to the use of natural insulation materials in buildings. (Building sector is responsible for the 40% EU CO2 emissions).