Session S2b (Monday, 9:30am, CHEM 102)

P114: Analysis of salt formations on ancient ceramics

Elizabeth Wise (Lourdes University, USA)

During a fall sabbatical leave, I collaborated with conservators at the Toledo Museum of Art.  My goals were to learn more about art conservation, develop course materials for The Chemistry of Art designed for non-science majors, initiate ongoing student research projects for science majors, and deepen connections with the local community.  At the Toledo Museum of Art, I observed a variety of restoration projects, and helped to develop educational materials as well as conduct chemical tests.  The most significant study involved the analysis of salts that formed on ancient ceramics; FTIR and basic chemical reactions were used to determine the composition of the salts.  There was evidence of the presence of acetates and formates that could have been produced by reaction with acidic gases released from wood and wood products in display cases.  The pieces were desalinated to remove the salts in order to prevent further structural damage.

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