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Subject: Amines in steam humidification systems

Amines in steam humidification systems

From: James Stroud <stroud>
Date: Sunday, February 4, 2001
We have learned that in April this year the University of Texas is
planning to introduce amines into its boiler water to reduce energy
costs. This water is used for the direct steam humidification of our
building. I am being asked to provide input on the effect of amines
(in particular cyclohexylamine, morpholine, and/or
diethylaminoethanol) in our humidity system on our air quality and
on our collections (books, paper, photographs, textiles, paintings,

We have been told by University representatives that "these
steam/condensate treatment process chemicals are approved for food
use by the FDA and will be used at levels significantly lower than
the thresholds approved by the FDA";  we are also told that "these
chemicals are approved for use by hospitals for direct steam
humidification of ventilation systems."

We are preparing for a renovation of our building. Construction
phase will begin in October this year. If the University's amine
modified steam is not appropriate for our collections then we are
faced with the possible need to include a separate steam production
plant specifically for our building and we will need quickly to find
additional funding sources for this work.

If anyone has information or experience regarding the effects on
collections that may result from the use of amines in direct steam
humidification systems, we would be grateful to hear them.

James Stroud
Head of Conservation
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
The University of Texas at Austin

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:42
                 Distributed: Monday, February 5, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-42-011
Received on Sunday, 4 February, 2001

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