Removal of alum from Iron-Age wooden objects by an applied electric field

Iben Vernegren Christensen, Lisbeth M. Ottosen, Poul Jensen, Inger Bojesen-Koefoed, Hartmut Kutzke, Susan Braovac, Tom Sandström, Mikkel Chrsitensen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In this paper removal of potassium, sulfate and aluminum ions from waterlogged alum treated wood with the use of an applied electric field is described. An electric DC field was applied across the wood for 4-20 days. At the end of the experiments sulfate had moved as expected towards the anode and potassium had moved towards the cathode. One experiment showed that after 20 days only 10% of the sulfate and 8% of the potassium was left in the wood. Aluminum tended to be removed more slowly and even after 20 days only minor amounts of aluminum were removed from the wood. Total removal of alum was not obtained in the experiments reported here, but the high conductivity and the transport of the measured ions due to the electric field indicates that an applied electric field as a method for removal of alum and other unwanted ions from treated wooden objects warrants further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th ICOM-CC Conference on Wet Organic Archaeological Materials
Publication date2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventConference on Wet Organic Archaeological Materials - Greenville, USA
Duration: 1 Jan 2010 → …
Conference number: 11


ConferenceConference on Wet Organic Archaeological Materials
CityGreenville, USA
Period01/01/2010 → …


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