Efficiency and diversification: stages of new development
Since the 1970’s, Silvateam's development has focused on increasing production capacity, improving product quality and the efficiency of the three Italian plants and the one in Argentina, where the Group had invested heavily after the consolidation phase experienced during the previous decade.
Spray dryers were installed as a result of a change in the sale of tannins from a block form to an atomised soluble powder.
Production had become integrated with downstream chemical processes for the extraction of tannins, in order to make the use of the vegetable raw material more efficient. Plants for the production of wood panels, paper and electricity generation from biomasses, furfural and furan derivatives, and tannic resins were constructed.
From the success of Italian fashion to the re-launch of vegetable tanning
In the meantime Silvateam has taken important steps in the fine chemicals sector, making acquisitions and investments to complete the range of products offered by the Group.
The vegetable extracts market started to stabilise, thanks to the success of the Italian fashion industry which was exporting footwear and luxury leather clothes to all the main markets of the world, putting an increasing emphasis on higher quality products made with the traditional vegetable tanning.
Energy from renewable sources and pellets
Vegetable extract production has always required a large amount of energy, electrical as well as thermal. Silvateam group has therefore equipped all its plants with thermal electric power stations for the production of steam and part of the electricity necessary for the industrial processes.
Thanks to the experience gained in the renewable energies sector, Silvateam creates biomass power stations, hydroelectric plants, district heating, combined cycle gas turbine facilities and solar energy plants.
Silvateam also manufactures 100% chestnut, high quality pellets of Italian origin, using the residues from the extraction of tannins made in San Michele Mondovì. The pellets obtained are natural, low in ash and made without bleaching or binding agents.
Natural extracts and access to the food, oenology and animal nutrition sector
The significant investment made by the Group in Research & Development, has created new applications for tannins and enlarged their own range of vegetable extracts. This led Silvateam to access new markets with innovative solutions, such as the oenology, food and the animal nutritionindustry.
During the last 15 years, thanks to important investments, the Peruvian manufacturing plant (2001) was established for the direct production of Tara tannins and Tara gum. In 2008 the new Rende plant (Calabria) was created, where, thanks to a state of the art technology, we produce pectins from citrus peels, functional stabiliser blends and other vegetable extracts especially designed for the food industry.
The oenological tannins are successfully used for the production of red and white wines with different technological functions, such as the antioxidant activity, colour protection and metal chelation.
Significant results have been obtained in the animal nutrition sector, where selected vegetable extracts are used to improve the health of the animals and thus increase productivity.