Jul 2, 2018

Alternatives to biocides

4 comments

Hi there! I was wondering if anyone has any tips on alternatives to commercial biocides for cleaning microbial activity on stone. I know that the Vatican is doing a lot of really interesting work with essential oils, but was just wondering if anyone had any other ideas or had any experience with things like copper-based alternatives or microbes. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Nov 22, 2018

From Andrew Thorn on Facebook: "Have had very good results [on] outdoor stone with ethanol and isopropanol. This technique has been developed in Sweden and used there for longer. Suppression is equal, if not better than, metal based approaches. Also have used hydrophobic treatments in some circumstances."

Nov 22, 2018

From Marcin Babel on Facebook: "Steam can be used but not for all stones."

There is an alternative to biocide. Microbes or their products such as enzyme can be used. They are safe and have no side effect on the heritage material. However, before any microbe or its product is used, its potency is tested and evaluated in the laboratory.

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Sustainability in Conservation is an online network providing resources and information about environmentally responsible practices  in art conservation and related fields. Within a practice that produces so much waste, we hope to inspire collaboration and awareness to make cultural heritage a more sustainabile profession. 

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