Crossing srl

From Laboratory to Industry

Company for development of organic compounds to grant
the modification and improvement of industrial products
in a eco-compatible and economic manner


Crossing is an innovative start-up founded by Dr. V. Beghetto of the University Ca' Foscari of Venice having the know-how to produce a new class of “activators for cross-linking” or “ACLs” at competitive prices.
These compounds are able to crosslink between them a multiplicity of materials of natural origin and/or synthetic origin without leaving any trace in the finished product. With ACL new highly sustainable products and processes can be achieved.
Crossing is developing a variety of techniques for the use of ACL for the production of:
  • non-toxic leather,
  • active packaging,
  • anti-fouling paints,
  • antimicrobial building materials,
  • cellulose, etc. totally alternative to those currently known and used industrially.
The primary purpose is to obtain a highly efficient product that does not release toxic products into the environment.
ACL can lead to cross-linking of a matrix “with itself” in those cases in which the acid, amine or alcohol function groups are present simultaneously.
For this reason, the ACL can be used as tanning agents (cross-linking) of the skin with no trace left of chemicals. Likewise carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) is cross-linked allowing to obtain a biodegradable cellulose that does not dissolve in water.
Alternatively ACL allow to attach, “graft” irreversibly to a polymer antibacterial agents, anti-mold, preservatives, etc. implementing the features of the final polymer. In practice, starting from compounds having antibacterial, anti-mold, etc. activity (both of synthetic or natural origin (essential oils) and a polymer (natural or synthetic) having acid, amino or alcoholic functionalities (polyacrylates, modified polyesters, celluloses, polysaccharides, etc.), with the aid of the ACL packaging, paint, gelcoat, adhesion, tissue, pulp, etc. are produced which do not releases the active ingredient over time.
ACL act in a similar way to catalysts and are not retained within the final product. The treatment can be performed during the preparation of the material or subsequently.
Preliminary studies have demonstrated the efficacy of the treatment against Escherichia coli and Streptococcus aureus, more bacterial strains are being tested.
Crossing has the know-how to produce low cost ACL and develop their use on an industrial scale.

ACL – Applications

Among the activities under way there are:
  • Tannic agent for chrome-free tanning.
  • An “active” cardboard, which preserves the quality of milk or wine without using preservatives.
  • Bags not only biodegradable, but also durable and waterproof.
  • Biodegradable plastics using raw materials derived from waste products of the food industry.
We are now working to develop many other applications, that so far have not even been imagined, and that the research will give us.

Tanning of Skin

Problem: The tanning industry requires huge amounts of water, energy and generates large amounts of toxic waste.
Leather production is considered, according to European regulations 96/61 EC, an activity for which the prevention and integrated pollution must be achieved.
From 1000 kg of untreated skin only up to 250 kg of leather are produced, with a loss of 75% in weight. Italy only consumes ca. 47 million tons / year of chemical products for tanning of skin.
Effluents from tanneries, if not properly treated, can cause serious damage to people's health, soil and water.
The transformation of raw hide leather is made from a set of operations that allow to obtain a finished product having certain physical rot-proof.
The industrial process for the manufacture of leather follows various treatment steps that usually are:

  • 1. Work of the Riviera: soaking, liming, hair removal, liming, partial enzymatic digestion, fleshing. They get started, chemical and mechanical properties, which is subjected to the raw skin, necessary for the preparation for tanning.
  • 2. Tanning: constituted by pickling and tanning ie the set of operations that allow to obtain a stable cross-linking of the collagen fibers of the dermis.
  • 3. Retanning, dyeing and fattening: chemical treatments to enhance the aesthetic characteristics and product quality of the skin.
  • 4. Finishing: group of processes carried out on the dry skins with the aim to protect the surface and improve the appearance.

The most important stage of the whole process is the stage of tanning. Currently over 85% of the world leathers are tanned with chromium salts (III), due to their low cost, ease of use and versatility, availability on the market, etc.
However, it is now known that chromium content in the skin can give rise to Cr (VI) is highly toxic and carcinogenic. In addition, the exhausted baths containing chromium are highly toxic and give rise to sludge which can not be disposed: Only in Europe are produced annually 400,000 tons of sludge containing chromium.
The main alternatives used industrially (synthetic tannins, natural or aldehydes) tanned leather to impart physical and mechanical properties inferior to Chrome, but without solving the problem of health for the consumer and the environment because of these skins you can free formaldehyde (carcinogenic) and phenol (cytotoxic).
Formaldehyde has been catalogued in 2016 as a carcinogen and can no longer be used for tanning leather. This restriction leads to a major limitation to the use of synthetic tannins often produced from formaldehyde which is then released in time from the scalp.
Finding an alternative to methods currently used industrially for the tanning of the skin therefore remains an open question, very timely.
Crossing, has recently developed and patented an industrial protocol that employs as tanning agents an innovative class of cross-linking elements “ACLs”, that allow to make skin imputrescible without leaving a trace into the scalp and therefore an alternative totally new. revolutionary not only with respect to chromium, but also to aldehydes, natural and synthetic tannins, etc.
Until now it was believed that a tanning agent to be defined as such should react and be permanently incorporated into the collagen matrix (the skin).
ACLs are the first in the world to stabilize tanning the skin without leaving a trace!
The results obtained with the use of ACLs, demonstrate that these reagents allow to increase the thermal stability (Tg) and resistance to bacterial attack of the skin, with Tg between 80 ºC to 105 ºC. The skin obtained at the end of the various treatments of retanning, dyeing, fattening, etc.. is good / excellent quality for many uses, with results comparable to chrome.

In particular, the ACLs developed can be modulated with respect to the specific use, and then to the final product desired (automotive, footwear, upholstery, etc.).
The protocol developed allows to drastically reduce the environmental impact of the tanning industry. In fact, the ACLs require neither pickel, nor basified, thus allowing to reduce the use of chemical reagents, water, energy, etc. necessary for the treatment of skins.
In addition, the tanning step is carried out in 4-6 h, even in full thickness, without altering in any way the protocol tanning and thus significantly increasing the productivity of the plant.
From an environmental point of view, since the ACLs are not retained within the skin, allow to obtain a totally non-toxic tanned leather which, moreover, need not be preserved as “wet” since it can be dehydrated and rehydrated without any problem nor attack bacterial, nor for the quality of obtained leather subsequently. They have also totally abolished the problems associated with the disposal of sludge, scraps, etc. containing chromium and reduced significantly the way of disposal or ”end of life“.
Post tanning waste can be employed for the production of gelatin. See ”USE OF WASTE MATERIALS“. We are working to develop many other applications that, as yet, have not even been imagined and that research will give us.

Active Packaging

Problem: New products destined to revolutionize the food industry in the near future will cover, more and more, the container and not the content. New packaging defined as “active and intelligent” will improve traceability of food and conservation time.
State of the Art: Currently these packages interact by changing the atmosphere allowing you to: extend the deadline, absorb odors, and release substances to counteract the action of microorganisms.
Some packs absorb oxygen or indicate fruit maturation level. The result is an increase in the durability (shelf-life) and improvement of the preservation.
Currently there are not on the shelf active materials that are constituted by self preservation surfaces in which the antibacterial compound is coupled in irreversible manner to the container.
Solution: The preservatives, additives now used in the food industry can be attached to the packaging; higher amounts can be used because they are not released, increasing the “ shelf life ”.
An example can be the production of ultra absorbent sheets (cellulose or polyacrylamide) which are used on the bottom of many of polystyrene containers used for meat and fish. This operation allows to drastically reduce the growth of bacteria and prolong storage life. With a similarly you can produce containers for drinks, preserves, fruit juices, food in single-serving packaging, vegetables, etc.
In particular, Crossing has developed the procedure for the modification with “ACLs” of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) with antibacterial and anti-mold agents for the production of films used for food preservation.
CMC resulted highly active against Staphylococcus Aureus and Escherichia Coli.

In the above photo, the ability of the films produced for the preservation of cheese, in the absence of refrigeration for times up to 15-20 days is highlighted.

Antimicrobial Fabrics

Problem: Clothes while being used may come into contact with microorganisms that thereafter proliferate in the tissues. To obviate these drawbacks, we resort to antibacterial substances able to limit or cancel the presence of microorganisms.
Data of the European Economic Community in hospitals report that one in ten patients is plagued by these forms of infections ”nosocomial“.
The result is a prolonged stay in the hospital that is about 10 million days a year in Europe alone. The use of fabrics for hospital use, such as sheets and antibacterial bandages, have proven effective in significantly reducing healthcare-associated infections, improving the health of patients and saving millions of Euros.
Similar problems also occur at home, in the office and public places.
State of the Art: Currently, most of the antibacterial fabrics available on the market contain silver ions and / or “triclosan” (an aromatic chlorinated compound similar to DDT, see Figure ) which are gradually released from the tissues and are dispersed in the environment and on the skin, decreasing in effectiveness and leading to environmental pollution.
Triclosan, similarly to other chlorinated phenols, can be accumulated in the tissues of living organisms and breast milk (and then be ingested by infants); its accumulation can cause abnormal liver and the lung function, induce sterility, immunity impairment, etc.
Solution: hook ”grab“ irreversibly to a polymer structure antibacterial agents while maintaining their functionality unchanged.
Tests are under way in the presence of chitosan. This protocol can be used for garments but also for carpets, carpeting, covers for furniture, in natural or synthetic fibres, fabrics, etc.

Antifouling Paint

Problem: biological encrustations ”fouling“ develop on surfaces immersed in water environment such as boat hulls, fouling has several aspects both economic and environmental.
From the point of view of economic it involves high costs for due care to prevent the presence of marine growth on the hull of vessels.
It has been estimated that the global costs of anti&as;fouling are in the order of 6.5 billion US dollars per year.
State of the Art: The use of products that prevent the growth of fouling always is, even if variable, a danger to the environment.
The “biocides” or antibacterial employed inserted in the composition of the antifouling paints are highly toxic compounds that are released over time in a controlled manner. Furthermore, because the fouling is made from different organisms, bacteria, algae, barnacles etc.
Biocides contained in antifouling paints must necessarily have a broad spectrum of action and therefore they constitute a danger to the entire aquatic ecosystem.
Moreover, biocides are poorly biodegradable and therefore remain in marine sediments for a long time, creating a potential danger to the aquatic environment.
Over the years many of the most used and effective biocides have been banned, so the search for new solutions for antifouling paints is of great relevance to today.
Solution: The primary purpose is to obtain a highly efficient product that does not release toxic products into the environment permanently hooking the biocidal product to a polymeric structure.
The protocol provides for the use of cross linking agents “ACLs” that enable to hook ”grab“ irreversibly antibacterial agents to a polymeric structure of broad spectrum while maintaining their properties unchanged.

Products for Construction Industry

Problem: The sanitation of the environment is now a matter of great relevance.
Data of the European Economic Community report that, in hospitals, one out of ten patients is plagued by these forms of infections ”nosocomial“.
The result is a prolonged stay in the hospital, about 10 million days a year in Europe alone.
One of the methods that can be used is to employ materials for the building that are active as antibacterial as well as anti-mold.
State of the Art: Today various solutions are available which provide for a co-formulation of the finished product with antibacterial agents that are physically incorporated and that therefore they release in time.
Also in this case generally employees antibacterial agents are based on ions of: silver, zinc, copper, and an organic reagent which is released over time, and loses partially or totally its effectiveness.
Solution: A much more lasting possibilities, effective and safe for environment is to irreversibly attach to various materials for the building component an antibacterial, anti-mold, etc.

Recycled Materials

Under Construction

Hair Dayes

Under Construction

Wet Strenght Paper

Under Construction

The Team

The leadership of the Crossing Ltd. est composed by its founders:

  • President: PhD. Beghetto Valentina
Degree in Industrial Chemistry at the Cà Foscari University of Venice in 199, where she received her PhD PHD as a researcher in 1997
She is currently Senior Researcher at the Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, and professor the; Cà Foscari University of Venice.
She deals with the management of relations between research and partnership.
She follows the development of the research phase of new activators from research stage in the laboratory up to production.
  • Administration and Finance Mgr:: Dr. Samiolo Riccardo
Degree in Economics from the Cà Foscari University of Venice.
Expert in Start Up, Turn Around; M&A, business process re-engineering, ERP implementation, decision support system & business intelligence.
Currently is Strategy & Special Project Manager at “Came Cancelli Automatici SpA”, Treviso.
He deals with the management of relations between Crossing and companies interested, in the Italian and foreign market, by carrying out market research and defining the technical and financial economy model of interaction with customers.

For detailed information on the know how and experience of the company&pos;s components click on the photos below:
Phd. Beghetto Valentina.   Dott. Samiolo Riccardo.  


Crossing Work Team

Crossing srl is working on the project: Development of New Green Reagents for a Sustainable Tanning Industry with Financing of the Veneto Region Bando POR-FESR 2014-2020 Action 1.4.1b for the support to the creation and consolidation of innovative high-intensity knowledge-based Start Up and Spin Off initiatives of Search Sub Action B- Consolidation Start Region Veneto ID 10004342

The goals and purpose of this work are listed in the document: Crossing_Rollup2017_Porfesr. The consolidation project for the next 12 months foresees:
  • structuring contractual instruments to regulate industrialization and product use
  • deevelopment of the "Know-how" for upgrading ACL production
  • development of the protocol of use in the chemical tanning industry


Crossing srl delle Istituzioni 27/h
31100 Treviso
tel. 041 2348928

The Press

This section contains, in chronological order the articles, on Crossing Srl.
click on the title to open the corresponding document.

Crossing srl – Taxpayer’s code and VAT number 04693350268. Company capital € 10.000 fully paid-up
Operational Headquarters: Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, University Ca' Foscari di Venezia, Via Torino 155, 30172 Mestre (VE), Italia
Registered Office: Piazza delle Istituzioni n. 27/H, 31100, Treviso, Italia
Web Site Last Revision – August 2017