Deacidification

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Contributions by: Joanne Lim

Deacidification is the process of adding an alkaline Alkaline buffering agent into an acidic paper (pH6.0 and below) in order to preserve the paper.

See also the BPG Wiki pages on Alkalization and Neutralization and Alkalinization of Books.

Related Terms

Synonyms in English

Alkalinization, Alkalization and Neutralization, Alkaline

Translation

English Deacidification
French Désacidification
Spanish Desacidificación
Portuguese Deacidification
Italian Deacidificazione
German Entsäuerung
Russian раскисление
Arabic إزالة الحموضة

Discussion

Acidic Paper is deacidified by placing it in a liquid solution or fuming it with a vapour that contains the buffering agent, There are some disadvantages of deacidification: [[1]]

  1. The text on paper will fade due chemical reaction with different dyes and ink pigments
  2. It is an expensive method of treatment
  3. The buffering agent causes wood pulp paper to be brittle and result in easy tears


It is also important to note that books with acidic papers does not require immediate conservation attention if properly stored in a cool, dark, dry conditions and when handled correctly. [[2]]


If the acidic paper have the following problems, there has to be immediate conservation effort to deacidify it: [[[[3]]

  1. pages separated from the binding
  2. cracked, broken, or detached bindings or spines
  3. brittle or fragile paper or book boards
  4. ripped or torn pages
  5. severely-faded ink
  6. water or humidity damage, including stains, severely distorted or cockled/
  7. buckled pages
  8. mold growth or foxing (brown spots)
  9. insect or vermin residue or damage
  10. stains due to leaks, spills or adhesives

Conservators should make a high-quality photocopy of the book to ensure the information is retained prior to deacidification process.

References

Cumberland Jr, D., & Vogt-O-Conner, D. (1997, June 1). Retrieved March 15, 2015How to Preserve Acidic Wood Pulp Paper. Retrieved from http://www.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/cons_toc.html

Save America's Treasures. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20 2015, from http://www.lib.msu.edu/exhibits/sat/deacid.jsp

Also see the following pages on the AIC wiki BPG Alkalinization of Books, BPG Alkalization and Neutralization, Alkaline

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