The Science of the total environment

Monitoring the performance of innovative and traditional biocides mixed with consolidants and water-repellents for the prevention of biological growth on stone.

PMID 22401787


In this study, some mixtures of consolidants or water-repellent products and biocides developed to prevent biological growth, were tested over time on three stone substrates with different bioreceptivity. The performance of both traditional (tetraethylorthosilicate, methylethoxy polysiloxane, Paraloid B72, tributyltin oxide, dibutyltin dilaurate) and innovative compounds (copper nanoparticles) was assessed using colour measurements, the water absorption by contact sponge method, and observation under stereo and optical microscopes. The application of the mixtures had also the purpose of controlling re-colonization on stone after a conservation treatment. The study site was the archaeological Area of Fiesole; the mixtures were applied in situ to sandstone, marble and plaster which had been cleaned beforehand. An innovative aspect of the study is that, by using non-invasive methods, it also permitted monitoring the mixtures' effectiveness in preventing biological growth. The monitoring results made it possible to assess the bioreceptivity of the treated stones (sandstone, marble, plaster) over a period of almost three years. The results showed that the mixtures of consolidants or water-repellent products with biocides were effective in preventing biological growth on both a substrate with low bioreceptivity like plaster and a substrate with high bioreceptivity such as marble. The innovative mixture of nano-Cu particles with a water-repellent yielded good results in terms of preventing biological colonization. Moreover, they apparently did not affect the substrates' colour. Mixtures of nano-Cu particles with a consolidant and a water-repellent hold great promise for preventing re-colonization of stone after conservation treatment.

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Bis(tributyltin) oxide, 96%
Dibutyltin dilaurate, 95%