Cellulosic pulp was analysed after two and five years of natural ageing in two different burial environments - lake water and peat soil - in order to investigate the chemical and structural changes undergone by the material. This research is part of a monitoring program developed in the archaeological site of Biskupin, whose final aim is to estimate the best re-burial conditions for an in situ conservation of archaeological wood. We applied SEM, FT-IR, XRD and Py-GC/MS with thermally assisted silylation using hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) to obtain broad information on cellulosic pulp degradation. SEM provided information on the structural changes undergone by the fibres and on the microbial activity. FT-IR highlighted a depletion of the carbohydrates in the most degraded samples. Py(HMDS)-GC/MS confirmed these observations and provided detailed molecular information on cellulose alteration. The crystallinity index (CI) of cellulose was estimated by XRD, showing that the degradation began in amorphous regions. The correlation between the CI and the relative abundance of anhydrosugars detected by Py(HMDS)-GC/MS demonstrated that pyrolytic reactions are also influenced by the degree of crystallinity of cellulose. A mechanism of cellulose degradation in these natural environments was formulated: the degradation of cellulose in these natural environments proceeds through a depolymerisation step, initially involving the amorphous regions of cellulose, until the size of oligomers becomes sufficiently small to allow metabolisation by microorganisms or solubilisation by water. Secondly, a loss of carbohydrates was detected after five years of ageing and the loss reached 25% and 55% for the dark areas of samples aged in peat soil and lake water, respectively. Peat soil was found to be more suitable than lake water in terms of preservation of carbohydrates.

The short-term degradation of cellulosic pulp in lake water and peat soil: A multi-analytical study from the micro to the molecular level

LUCEJKO, JEANNETTE JACQUELINE;MODUGNO, FRANCESCA;COLOMBINI, MARIA PERLA
2017-01-01

Abstract

Cellulosic pulp was analysed after two and five years of natural ageing in two different burial environments - lake water and peat soil - in order to investigate the chemical and structural changes undergone by the material. This research is part of a monitoring program developed in the archaeological site of Biskupin, whose final aim is to estimate the best re-burial conditions for an in situ conservation of archaeological wood. We applied SEM, FT-IR, XRD and Py-GC/MS with thermally assisted silylation using hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) to obtain broad information on cellulosic pulp degradation. SEM provided information on the structural changes undergone by the fibres and on the microbial activity. FT-IR highlighted a depletion of the carbohydrates in the most degraded samples. Py(HMDS)-GC/MS confirmed these observations and provided detailed molecular information on cellulose alteration. The crystallinity index (CI) of cellulose was estimated by XRD, showing that the degradation began in amorphous regions. The correlation between the CI and the relative abundance of anhydrosugars detected by Py(HMDS)-GC/MS demonstrated that pyrolytic reactions are also influenced by the degree of crystallinity of cellulose. A mechanism of cellulose degradation in these natural environments was formulated: the degradation of cellulose in these natural environments proceeds through a depolymerisation step, initially involving the amorphous regions of cellulose, until the size of oligomers becomes sufficiently small to allow metabolisation by microorganisms or solubilisation by water. Secondly, a loss of carbohydrates was detected after five years of ageing and the loss reached 25% and 55% for the dark areas of samples aged in peat soil and lake water, respectively. Peat soil was found to be more suitable than lake water in terms of preservation of carbohydrates.
2017
Tamburini, Diego; Lucejko, JEANNETTE JACQUELINE; Zborowska, Magdalena; Modugno, Francesca; Cantisani, Emma; Mamoňová, Miroslava; Colombini, MARIA PERLA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/820523
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