For centuries mankind has stored its knowledge on paper, a remarkable biomaterial made of natural cellulose fibers. However, spontaneous cellulose degradation phenomena weaken and discolorate paper over time. The detailed knowledge of products arising from cellulose degradation is essential in understanding deterioration pathways and in improving durability of cultural heritage. In this study, for the first time, products of cellulose degradation were individually detected in solid paper samples by means of an extremely powerful proton HR-MAS NMR set-up, in combination to a wise use of both ancient and, as reference, artificially aged paper samples. Carboxylic acids, in addition to more complex dicarboxylic and hydroxy-carboxylic acids, were found in all samples studied. Since these products can catalyze further degradation, their knowledge is fundamental to improve conservation strategies of historical documents. Furthermore, the identification of compounds used in ancient production techniques, also suggests for artifacts dating, authentication and provenance.

Molecular degradation of ancient documents revealed by H HR-MAS NMR spectroscopy / Carmelo, Corsaro; Domenico, Mallamace; Joanna, Łojewska; Francesco, Mallamace; Pietronero, Luciano; Mauro, Missori. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - ELETTRONICO. - 3:2896(2013). [10.1038/srep02896]

Molecular degradation of ancient documents revealed by H HR-MAS NMR spectroscopy

PIETRONERO, Luciano;
2013

Abstract

For centuries mankind has stored its knowledge on paper, a remarkable biomaterial made of natural cellulose fibers. However, spontaneous cellulose degradation phenomena weaken and discolorate paper over time. The detailed knowledge of products arising from cellulose degradation is essential in understanding deterioration pathways and in improving durability of cultural heritage. In this study, for the first time, products of cellulose degradation were individually detected in solid paper samples by means of an extremely powerful proton HR-MAS NMR set-up, in combination to a wise use of both ancient and, as reference, artificially aged paper samples. Carboxylic acids, in addition to more complex dicarboxylic and hydroxy-carboxylic acids, were found in all samples studied. Since these products can catalyze further degradation, their knowledge is fundamental to improve conservation strategies of historical documents. Furthermore, the identification of compounds used in ancient production techniques, also suggests for artifacts dating, authentication and provenance.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/526000
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