Chitosan Derivatives as Bio-based Materials for Paper Heritage Conservation

Florin Ciolacu, Raluca Nicu, Tudor Balan, Elena Bobu


Three water-soluble chitosan derivatives (ChDs)- carboxymethyl- chitosan (CCh), alkyl-chitosan (ACh), and quaternary-chitosan (QCh)- were evaluated as new materials for paper conservation. Several series of samples were prepared by coating different paper types with ChDs or methylcellulose (MC). The ChDs’ effectiveness were analyzed by their effects on the strength (tensile energy absorption (TEA), double folds) and water barriers (Cobb60, contact angle (CA)). The coatings on laboratory paper showed strength improvements for the CCh/QCh coatings that were consistent with an increase in the coating weight (CW). The ACh had little effect on the strength, but developed an effective barrier to water. The coatings on printing paper were performed at a constant CW by applying two layers of the same ChD or MC, and by combining CCh or QCh in the first layer with ACh in the second layer. Homogenous coatings based on the CCh or QCh resulted in high strength improvements, comparable to MC, but only ACh coatings developed an effective barrier to water. Combinations of the CCh or QCh with ACh provided the best relationship between the strength and barrier properties and proved their effectiveness as strengthening/protective materials in the treatment of natural aged paper.


Paper heritage; Conservation; Chitosan derivatives; Water barrier; Strength properties

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