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Subject: Measuring acidity in paper

Measuring acidity in paper

From: Laura Moura <moura.laura.f<-a>
Date: Monday, November 3, 2014
Mary Miller <memiller<-a t->umn< . >edu> writes

>I received an inquiry from a student in our Art Department.  He is
>working on a project to plant pulp fiction novels under plants. He's
>interested in measuring the levels of acidity of the paper in the
>books, so that he can find plants with similar amounts of acidity in
>their soil (I assume that's part of the art project).  At the risk
>of exposing my scientific naivete, is there feasible way for him to
>measure the pH levels of paper in a book?

Please see the Guidelines for pH Measurements in Conservation, The
Technical Bulletin 28 from the Canadian Conservation Institute,


In general, if you a have access to a pH electrometric device, you
can perform a non-destructive surface pH measurement of paper (TAPPI
T 529) with a flat electrode, or a destructive measurement by a cold
extraction method (TAPPI T 435).

There are also colorimetric devices like pH strips, but some of
these can leave permanent marks on the tested papers.

The CCI publication can help you in the selection of the suitable
method for your needs.

Laura Moura
Paper Conservator
Instituto de Investigacao Cientsifica Tropical - IICT (Tropical
    Overseas Institute)
Arquivo Historico Ultramarino (Overseas Historical Archive)
Lisboa, Portugal

                  Conservation DistList Instance 28:23
                Distributed: Thursday, November 6, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-28-23-007
Received on Monday, 3 November, 2014

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