OROPON®, bating agent for animal skins and furs

Hygienic, eco-friendly, efficient


With the invention of OROPON at the beginning of the 20th century, the chemist Dr. Otto Röhm started a new chapter in the story of leather manufacturing that, at that time, was still relatively undeveloped. Before the widespread introduction of OROPON, leather bating was based on methods using substances like dog excrement and pigeon droppings. These techniques were not only unhygienic; they also generated an extremely unpleasant odor.

In 1905, Otto Röhm first started to look closely at leather manufacturing and bating of animal skins. Two years later, he discovered the effectiveness of the enzymes extracted, for example, from the pancreas of pigs in the treatment of the skins. This led him to develop a method suitable for the treatment of all types of animal skins and furs. This marked the birth of the OROPON bating agent.

In 1907, once OROPON had gone into standard production, Röhm and the merchant, Otto Haas, founded the company Röhm & Haas. In 1909, in order to have their production site close to the leather industry, they re-located to Darmstadt. Otto Haas traveled through much of Europe in order to promote the new product. It was not long before the first international sales agencies were established. Haas set up a branch in Philadelphia and started to export to the USA and, in 1911, the first exports were sent out to Japan. Thus, within a few years, OROPON, which was named after Otto Röhm, had replaced the manure bate; the latter was not only unhygienic but also produced unreliable results.

The complete leather additives business of the group was restructured in 1996 forming the joint venture TFL (Together for Leather) in Rheinfelden and, then in 2001, sold out. 

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