Ammonium monoethyloxalate (AmEtOx): a new agent for the conservation of carbonate stone substrates
M. Carla Aragoni
Membro del Collaboration Group;Laura Giacopetti
Membro del Collaboration Group;Massimiliano Arca
;Stefano Columbu;Francesco Isaia;Vito Lippolis
Membro del Collaboration Group;Paola Meloni
Membro del Collaboration Group;Enrico Podda;Anna Pintus
Membro del Collaboration Group
AbstractThe ammonium salt of monoethyloxalate (AmEtOx) was investigated as a novel precursor for the conservation of carbonate stone substrates, such as biomicritic limestone and marble. Full characterization of treated and untreated authentic stone samples was carried out by means of SEM, X-ray powder diffraction, synchrotron tts-mXRD measurements, mercury intrusion porosimetry, determination of water transport properties, and pull-off tests. The improved solubility (1.49 M, 20.1% w/w) of AmEtOx as compared to that of ammonium oxalate (AmOx; 0.4 M, 5% w/w) results in the formation of microcrystalline phases 30–50 and 200–500 mm thick of calcium oxalate mono-(whewellite) or dihydrate (weddellite), on marble and biomicrite samples, respectively, after treatment with AmEtOx 5% and 12% w/w aqueous solutions. As a result, a reduction in the porosity of the stone samples and an enhancement of their cohesion are observed. DFT calculations, carried out to investigate the hydrolysis reaction leading from AmEtOx to AmOx, showed that the localization of the Lowest Unoccupied Molecular Orbital (LUMO) and the natural charge distribution account nicely for the tendency to hydrolyse observed experimentally, eventually leading to the formation of whewellite and weddellite on the stone surface.
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