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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Design of multifunctional polysaccharide composite nanoparticles for deacidification, strength improvement and prevention of microbial attack of historical cellulose-based artifacts

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.01.03  Biotechnical sciences  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Paper technology 

Code Science Field
H314  Humanities  Preservation and restoration of art works 

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
Keywords
Deacidification, nanoparticles, cellulose artefacts, mechanical properties, pH and alkaline reserve, flame retardancy and antimicrobial properties.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (18)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  25790  PhD Mojca Božič  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2019 - 2020  218 
2.  51167  Doris Bračič  Textile and leather  Researcher  2019 - 2022  24 
3.  37632  PhD Matej Bračič  Chemistry  Head  2020 - 2022  145 
4.  07004  PhD Darinka Fakin  Textile and leather  Researcher  2019 - 2022  327 
5.  32136  PhD Selestina Gorgieva  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  192 
6.  50281  Urška Jančič  Textile and leather  Junior researcher  2019 - 2022  34 
7.  37937  PhD Tilen Knaflič  Physics  Researcher  2021 - 2022  20 
8.  28976  Tanja Kos    Technical associate  2019 - 2020  42 
9.  35055  Lea Legan  Chemistry  Researcher  2021 - 2022  158 
10.  27709  PhD Jasna Malešič  Chemistry  Researcher  2019 - 2022  142 
11.  33768  PhD Tamilselvan Mohan  Textile and leather  Researcher  2019 - 2022  208 
12.  22407  PhD Alenka Ojstršek  Textile and leather  Researcher  2019 - 2022  209 
13.  19268  PhD Zdenka Peršin Fratnik  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2022  225 
14.  35834  PhD Klara Retko  Chemistry  Researcher  2022  147 
15.  28079  PhD Polonca Ropret  Chemistry  Researcher  2019 - 2021  286 
16.  38064  PhD Matthew John Schwarzkopf  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  97 
17.  34307  MSc Lidija Škodič  Chemistry  Researcher  2021  17 
18.  51168  Natalija Virant  Chemistry  Researcher  2019 - 2020  16 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0619  National and University Library in Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5056730000  1,152 
2.  0795  University ob Maribor, Faculty of mechanical engineering  Maribor  5089638010  23,837 
3.  2316  Institute for the protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia  Ljubljana  1423215  3,763 
4.  3770  InnoRenew CoE Renewable Materials and Healthy Environments Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence  Izola  7233817000  2,741 
Abstract
The Slovenian and European history written on acidic archival materials, dating from 1830 onwards, is falling apart. Many unique texts that even witnessed events such as the Second World War are irreversibly lost due to material destruction. Conservation measures that are currently available to stop this substantial loss of information are not free of drawbacks such as bleeding of original stamps, uneven distribution of deacidifying material, low mechanical strength and built-up of an adequate alkaline reserve against further degradation of paper. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a new deacidification method that can be applied to either single paper sheets or bound cellulose items (eg books) from Slovenian libraries and archives without any preselection. The project DeacidCellulose aims to preserve the archive materials, combating its acidity, deterioration of mechanical properties and microbial degradation using the latest developments in cellulose chemistry and nanotechnology. It will develop new paper deacidification routes combining the best currently available concepts with knowledge in volatile organic solvent reactions and nanotechnology. The non-aqueous solvent process combines deacidifying , flame-retardant and antimicrobial substances , stabilizers and strengthening agents in one treatment and will be applied to cellulose-based artifacts by an effortless dip-coating method.   TThe DeacidCellulose will bring the following novelty into the frame of this project. Complete acid neutralization and controlled, prolonged, adequate and uniform building of alkaline reserve. Improvement of paper mechanical properties; provided by polysaccharides and silicon oligomers. The flexibility of the treated paper will be effectively controlled and the formation of a too rigid cross-linked network of paper fibers will be avoided. Antimicrobial effects will be achieved by using amino-terminated compounds and by phenolic compounds which will suppress the growth of the mold. Use of volatile organic solvents with low surface tension; this will allow a sufficient wetting, give better dimensional stability of the paper and minimize the risk of running inks. No additional humidity will be introduced into preserved books, which is of an importance considering the acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of paper. The flame retardancy will be imparted to paper. It is an important target to develop a responsible process method – to recycle the carrier phase to keep the environmental footprint and the process costs low.  These will be accomplished by using (i) functional calcium and magnesium-based composite nanoparticles (for acid-neutralization), (ii) polysaccharides and silicon oligomers (for strengthening), (iii) halloysite nanoclay and phenolic compounds (for imparting flame retardancy and antimicrobial properties), where underpinning methodology concepts for such deacidification approach will be established by UM. The appropriate selection of acidic archival materials (paper and books), conditional assessment, chemical analysis and quality control of deacidification routes will be done by NUK. The testing (e.g. mechanical properties, durability, chemical characteristics, etc.) of paper is crucial to evaluate the efficacy of the treatment, to further optimize the process conditions, which will be performed by InnoRenew CoE. The environmental impact on different types of deacidified papers in terms of chemical and biological alterations and development of new analytical tools for investigation of cultural heritage objects will be carried out by IPCHS. On this basis will be developed intensive cooperation and know-how exchange leading to straight forward realization of the defined results. The knowledge gained in Deacidcellulose will overcome the current gap in the Slovenian book preservation field and substantially strengthen the position of the involved Slovenian Archival community.
Significance for science
The preservation of cultural heritage materials is a society's basic need; If these materials decompose, we all lose our collective memory. This is especially true for Slovenia, where expensive deacidification treatment is available for the treatment of acidic documents. Thus, the proposed one-step treatment, safe and cost-effective approach in this project offers new opportunities for treatment of all types of materials based on cellulose. For the scientific community, this project will create a new platform to understand the methodology for the production of multifunctional nanoparticles, and to understand and expand the different interactions occurring at solid-liquid (nanoparticles-polysaccharides) and solid-solid interfaces (nanoparticles-paper) . The know-how of the process details will be the basis of marketable innovation and future extension of conservation activities and processes offered by this project results. It will also provide the basics for future research activities, further process development and optimization and process extension to different types of paper and cellulose based archive materials. The acquired knowledge will be useful to bring intensive cooperation and know-how exchange, leading to straight forward realization of the defined results to national and international archives and libraries. In the longer term, this project will demonstrate the benefits of using nano-structured materials to treat acidic cellulose-based archival materials, and to transfer this knowledge to other archival items such as wood, carvings or even buildings to develop inexpensive and more compatible treatments. It is in line with the development strategy of the University of Maribor, oriented towards the preservation of human history and the creation of an inclusive society, in line with the current Europe 2020 Strategy and the Research and Innovation Strategy of Slovenia 2011-2020, as well as in accordance with the vision and orientation of the University of Maribor. In general, by this project realization, Slovenian partners and researchers will further strengthen research and development activities leading to cutting-edge knowledge related to fast, effective, easy-to-handle and non-destructive, with impact to the converge science. Knowledge gained from this project will significantly contribute to Slovenian and European competitiveness through industries and companies in the greater field of cultural heritage and renewable resources of the polysaccharide and nanomaterials. Apart from this, the results and knowledge gathered (and publications thereof) will further increase the likelihood of the project partners to obtain new connections worldwide. The successful outcome of results such as publications, possible patents and new materials / methodologies will be beneficial not only for researchers, but also for Slovenian host and partners institutions, European companies / industries and European society.
Significance for the country
The preservation of cultural heritage materials is a society's basic need; If these materials decompose, we all lose our collective memory. This is especially true for Slovenia, where expensive deacidification treatment is available for the treatment of acidic documents. Thus, the proposed one-step treatment, safe and cost-effective approach in this project offers new opportunities for treatment of all types of materials based on cellulose. For the scientific community, this project will create a new platform to understand the methodology for the production of multifunctional nanoparticles, and to understand and expand the different interactions occurring at solid-liquid (nanoparticles-polysaccharides) and solid-solid interfaces (nanoparticles-paper) . The know-how of the process details will be the basis of marketable innovation and future extension of conservation activities and processes offered by this project results. It will also provide the basics for future research activities, further process development and optimization and process extension to different types of paper and cellulose based archive materials. The acquired knowledge will be useful to bring intensive cooperation and know-how exchange, leading to straight forward realization of the defined results to national and international archives and libraries. In the longer term, this project will demonstrate the benefits of using nano-structured materials to treat acidic cellulose-based archival materials, and to transfer this knowledge to other archival items such as wood, carvings or even buildings to develop inexpensive and more compatible treatments. It is in line with the development strategy of the University of Maribor, oriented towards the preservation of human history and the creation of an inclusive society, in line with the current Europe 2020 Strategy and the Research and Innovation Strategy of Slovenia 2011-2020, as well as in accordance with the vision and orientation of the University of Maribor. In general, by this project realization, Slovenian partners and researchers will further strengthen research and development activities leading to cutting-edge knowledge related to fast, effective, easy-to-handle and non-destructive, with impact to the converge science. Knowledge gained from this project will significantly contribute to Slovenian and European competitiveness through industries and companies in the greater field of cultural heritage and renewable resources of the polysaccharide and nanomaterials. Apart from this, the results and knowledge gathered (and publications thereof) will further increase the likelihood of the project partners to obtain new connections worldwide. The successful outcome of results such as publications, possible patents and new materials / methodologies will be beneficial not only for researchers, but also for Slovenian host and partners institutions, European companies / industries and European society.
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