Black crusts are recognized to have been, up to now, one of the major deterioration forms affecting the built heritage in urban areas. Their formation is demonstrated to occur mainly on carbonate building materials, whose interaction with an SO2-loaded atmosphere leads to the transformation of calcium carbonate (calcite) into calcium sulfate dihydrate (gypsum) which, together with embedded carbonaceous particles, consequently forms the black crusts on the stone surface. An analytical study was carried out on black crust samples collected from limestone monumental buildings and churches belonging to the European built Heritage, i.e., the Corner Palace in Venice (Italy), the Cathedral of St. Rombouts in Mechelen (Belgium), and the Church of St. Eustache in Paris (France). For a complete characterization of the black crusts, an approach integrating different and complementary techniques was used, including laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, optical and scanning electron microscopy. In particular, the application of LA-ICP-MS permitted to obtain a complete geochemical characterization in terms of trace elements of the black crusts from the inner parts to the external layers contributing to the identification of the major combustion sources responsible for the deterioration over time of the monuments under study. In addition, the obtained results revealed a relation between the height of sampling and the concentration of heavy metals and proved that the crust composition can be a marker to evaluate the variation of the fuels used over time.

Application of spectrometric analysis to the identification of pollution sources causing the cultural heritage damage

BARCA, Donatella;LA RUSSA, Mauro Francesco;Ruffolo S. A.;
2013-01-01

Abstract

Black crusts are recognized to have been, up to now, one of the major deterioration forms affecting the built heritage in urban areas. Their formation is demonstrated to occur mainly on carbonate building materials, whose interaction with an SO2-loaded atmosphere leads to the transformation of calcium carbonate (calcite) into calcium sulfate dihydrate (gypsum) which, together with embedded carbonaceous particles, consequently forms the black crusts on the stone surface. An analytical study was carried out on black crust samples collected from limestone monumental buildings and churches belonging to the European built Heritage, i.e., the Corner Palace in Venice (Italy), the Cathedral of St. Rombouts in Mechelen (Belgium), and the Church of St. Eustache in Paris (France). For a complete characterization of the black crusts, an approach integrating different and complementary techniques was used, including laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, optical and scanning electron microscopy. In particular, the application of LA-ICP-MS permitted to obtain a complete geochemical characterization in terms of trace elements of the black crusts from the inner parts to the external layers contributing to the identification of the major combustion sources responsible for the deterioration over time of the monuments under study. In addition, the obtained results revealed a relation between the height of sampling and the concentration of heavy metals and proved that the crust composition can be a marker to evaluate the variation of the fuels used over time.
2013
black crusts; environmental pollution; LA-ICP-MS analyses
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/147118
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