MIT-R&D-Samenwerkingsproject | | Rijksdienst

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Cellulosic materials like paper and textile are prone to disintegration due to acid catalyzed hydrolysis, bacterial processes, light and/or oxidation. These processes are a threat, especially to our paper based cultural heritage. The most severe problem for old paper and textile (e.g. linen) is the continuous process of cellulose breakdown, leading to discoloration and mechanical weakening. At this moment many books and documents, especially from the 19TH and 20TH century, are in poor condition due to the ongoing acidification process. If no action is taken to stop acidification, many of these books and documents will be lost.

There are no environmently friendly processes available that stop the deterioration process. Breuklijn BV in the Netherlands is developing the so-called PaperCare process for mass deacidification of books. This process was explored in a first study, using super critical carbondioxide. The study was finished at the beginning of 2012 by the University of Graz, a partner of Breuklijn, showing the feasibility of this process. Books can be taken from the shelf and put directly in the machine. After the process they can be put back in place. With this innovative process our cultural heritage can be preserved without the use of solvents or poisonous additives.

In this project the process parameters will be optimised, using additives and optimising the quality of the paper. A consortium is formed consisting of the following members:
Breuklijn BV: The inventors of the process and the quality control.
Presh BV: Has the availability and experience of Super Critical Technology and marketing and sales.
Ft Innovations BV: Project management, research and development, specialized in Surface Chemistry.

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