In the Netherlands, Smit & Zoon filed a patent application in Europe for lignin modified polyphenolic leather chemicals. The patent is for the industrial lignin mixed with phenol in the production of otherwise 1000% fossil-fuel based polyphenolic retanning chemicals. Trials with the lignin-based products are taking place and so far show a positive outcome on the leather with an equal dye to its more toxic equivalents.
Lignin is a natural polyphenol derived from biomass like wood or agricultural crops and is coming in quite handy for the leather industry. Smit & zoon hope to increase their leather bio-based content in hopes of making leather a more sustainable product by 2025.