Epoxide tannage : a way forward

An understanding of both the reactive functions of epoxide resins and collagen, suggests that some epoxides could be effectively used in organic tannage systems. As such epoxides may be regarded as alternatives to aldehydic tanning systems, having lower toxicity combined with specific polymerization ability. The commercial and technical potential of epoxides as tanning agents are assessed in this review paper. To this end, an introduction to epoxide chemistry is provided based on the tanning chemist’s viewpoint. The literature survey describes epoxide-protein/collagen addition reaction mechanisms and their kinetics, which in turn are discussed with respect to the potential for future work, where these resins will be utilised in novel tanning technology. The potential risks associated with epoxides and modifications to conventional techniques of tanning, are also discussed.