Micellar solutions as environmentally-friendly agents for cleaning artworks

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Micellar solutions and microemulsions are efficient agents for cleaning artworks, especially for the selective removal of aged polymeric coatings from the surface of wall paintings. We have aimed at the development of a generalized method which should be efficient for a wide spectrum of different target species important from the point of view of the conservation practice, such as polymers, waxes, resins etc., being easy to scale up and as friendly towards the environment as possible by avoiding or minimizing the content of undesirable components. Our approach to the preparation of cleaning mixtures is based on the combination of two functions, which are realized by two components, namely a micellar solution or microemulsion of nonionic surfactants with co-surfactants added, which is practically the same for various target substances, and specific solvents selected according to the respective substance to be removed. The micellar solutions were prepared by dissolving the selected nonionic surfactant in water at concentration several times exceeding the critical micelle concentration with suitable co-surfactant added, such as 1-pentanol. According to the substance to be removed the specific solvents were selected which are able to dissolve it effectively and are compatible with other components of the cleaning mixture.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Nanotechnology 2013: Advanced Materials, CNTs, Particles, Films and Composites (Volume 1)
Published: May 12, 2013
Pages: 622 - 625
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Personal & Home Care, Food & Agriculture
Topics: Personal & Home Care, Food & Agriculture
ISBN: 978-1-4822-0581-7