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In situ polymerisation of isoeugenol as a green consolidation method for waterlogged archaeological wood

McHale, Emily; Steindal, Calin C.; Kutzke, Hartmut; Benneche, Tore; Harding, Stephen E.

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Emily McHale

Calin C. Steindal

Hartmut Kutzke

Tore Benneche

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Professor of Applied Biochemistry


Waterlogged archaeological wood is often in need of consolidation prior to drying to prevent shrinkage and cracking of the object. There is a need for new greener materials (than for example polyethylene glycol) and methods for consolidation to be developed. The use of wood-based components could provide good interaction between the consolidant and the remaining wood structure and would also support a shift away from fossil fuel-based materials to those with more sustainable sources. Based on this, lignin-like structures have been investigated for their ability to consolidate waterlogged archaeological wood. The in situ formation of a lignin-like material has been carried out using isoeugenol polymerised by horse radish peroxidase in aqueous solution. The formation of the oligomeric/polymeric materials within the wood following this reaction has been determined by Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infra Red (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. The oligomers remaining in solution have been characterised by ATR-FTIR and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy as well as analytical ultracentrifugation, showing that they have a weight average Mw of 0.4–0.9 kDa and a lignin-like structure rich in the β-5′ moiety. Therefore, this approach is proposed as a basis to further develop a green consolidation method for waterlogged archaeological wood.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 17, 2017
Publication Date Apr 27, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 20, 2017
Journal Scientific Reports
Electronic ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Article Number 46481
Public URL
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