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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nanoparticles of calcium hydroxide for wood conservation. The deacidification of the Vasa warship.

The seventeenth century Swedish warship Vasa represents a unique case in the study of ancient wrecks and a challenge for finding new methods for artifacts conservation. The presence of sulfuric acid inside the wooden structure of Vasa is one of the possible causes of chemical damage of the wood. During recent investigations, pH values below 2 were observed inside the wreck in several places. Neutralization treatments temporarily raised the surface pH about 6 units, but after a few months the pH reverted back to original values. In this study we show that wood from the Vasa warship can be deacidified by using a dispersion in 2-propanol of calcium hydroxide nanoparticles. These particles can penetrate into the wood allowing a very efficient deacidification. Alkaline nanoparticles are converted into calcium sulfate without mechanical stress to the wood's lumens. Additional applications produce an excess of alkaline nanoparticles that are converted into carbonate, an alkaline reservoir to protect the wood from further acid attack. Artificial aging of Vasa wood demonstrates that nanoparticles facilitate protection of wood toward further acid degradation.[1]


  1. Nanoparticles of calcium hydroxide for wood conservation. The deacidification of the Vasa warship. Giorgi, R., Chelazzi, D., Baglioni, P. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids. (2005) [Pubmed]
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