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Molecular Crystallization Inhibitors for Salt Damage Control in Porous Materials: An Overview

Department of Chemical Engineering Materials and Environment and CISTeC- Research Center in Science and Technology for the Conservation of Historical-Architectural Heritage, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy
Department of Conservation and Built Heritage, Faculty for the Built Environment, University of Malta, Msida MSD 2080, Malta
Department of Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnology University of Perugia, Via Elce di Sotto 8, 06123 Perugia, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrei Rotaru and Maria Dinescu
Molecules 2020, 25(8), 1873;
Received: 28 March 2020 / Revised: 14 April 2020 / Accepted: 15 April 2020 / Published: 18 April 2020
The use of inhibition chemicals holds the prospect of an efficient strategy to control crystallization in porous materials, thereby potentially contributing to the prevention or mitigation of the salt decay phenomenon in modern as well as historical building materials in a more sustainable manner. In this review, we first provide an essential background on the mechanism of salt crystallization and on the factors influencing this phenomenon; next, we illustrate the mechanism at the basis of the action of crystal growth inhibitors, and critically discuss the major advances in the development of different families of inhibitors, particularly focusing on their influence on salt transport and crystallization within the structure of porous media. Specifically, correlations between the crystallization inhibition processes in porous materials and variables, such as porous substrate composition and properties, contaminant salt type and concentrations, microclimatic conditions, inhibiting solution concentration and properties, and application methods, will be highlighted. Environmental aspects, limitations, and problems associated with some inhibition chemicals are also taken into account. Finally, a survey and a discussion on the most representative experimental techniques and instrumentation available to assess qualitatively and quantitatively the inhibitor effectiveness, as well as recently developed modelling tools are given out. View Full-Text
Keywords: crystallization inhibitors; sustainability; salt decay; porous materials; built heritage crystallization inhibitors; sustainability; salt decay; porous materials; built heritage
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bracciale, M.P.; Sammut, S.; Cassar, J.; Santarelli, M.L.; Marrocchi, A. Molecular Crystallization Inhibitors for Salt Damage Control in Porous Materials: An Overview. Molecules 2020, 25, 1873.

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