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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

A Triton X-100-Based Microemulsion for the Removal of Hydrophobic Materials from Works of Art: SAXS Characterization and Application

Department of Chemistry and CSGI, University of Florence, via della Lastruccia, 3, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy
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Materials 2018, 11(7), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11071144
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from TechnoHeritage 2017)
The removal of hydrophobic materials from a porous support, such as wax stains on wall paintings, is particularly challenging. In this context, traditional methods display several drawbacks. The limitations of these methods can be overcome by amphiphile-based aqueous nanostructured fluids, such as micellar solutions and microemulsions. In this study, a microemulsion for the removal of wax spots from artistic surfaces was formulated. The nanostructured fluid includes a non-ionic surfactant, i.e., Triton X-100, and two apolar solvents, namely p-xylene and n-nonane. The solvents were selected on the basis of solubility tests of three waxes in several organic solvents. The nanostructured fluid was characterized by means of small-angle X-rays scattering (SAXS) and the information about micelle structure was used to understand the interaction between the microemulsion and the selected waxes. The microemulsion was then tested during the restoration of the frescoes in the Major Chapel of the Santa Croce Basilica in Florence, Italy. After some preliminary tests on fresco mockups reproduced in the laboratory, the nanostructured fluid was successfully used to clean some wax deposits from the real paintings, hardly removable with traditional physico-mechanical methods. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanostructured fluid; cleaning; beeswax; paraffin; ceresin; oblate ellipsoid; wall paintings nanostructured fluid; cleaning; beeswax; paraffin; ceresin; oblate ellipsoid; wall paintings
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MDPI and ACS Style

Baglioni, M.; Poggi, G.; Ciolli, G.; Fratini, E.; Giorgi, R.; Baglioni, P. A Triton X-100-Based Microemulsion for the Removal of Hydrophobic Materials from Works of Art: SAXS Characterization and Application. Materials 2018, 11, 1144.

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