The research described here is the first study on the use of sustainable, plant-based biopolymers in conservation practice. Two applications of biopolymers to conservation were investigated – in commercial bioplastics as substitutes for petroleum-based plastic packaging, and in novel adhesive and coating formulations. Bio-polyethylenes, bio-polyesters and bio-cellulose-based products were evaluated against petroleum-based materials. Bio- and petroleum-based polyethylenes shared optical, chemical and thermal properties. Bamboo and sugarcane fibre containers were also chemically stable. Polyester polylactic acid (PLA) bags and containers became brittle and opaque at a relative humidity (RH) above 65%. FTIR spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis suggested that PLA hydrolysed to produce acids. PLA/cornstarch bags fragmented on ageing and formed a gel at high RH levels. A 5 wt% solution of adhesive prepared from soya protein was an effective and reversible adhesive for wood, paper and glass, but adhered poorly to polyethylene and poly(methyl methacrylate). Humic acid-based solutions formed cohesive films which adhered well to glass, paper and soil.
|Title of host publication||ICOM-CC 18th Triennial Conference Preprints, Copenhagen, 4–8 September 2017,|
|Number of pages||9|
|Place of Publication||Paris|
|Publisher||International Council of Museums|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
|Event||18th Triennial Conference - Copenhagen, Denmark|
Duration: 4 Sep 2017 → 8 Sep 2017
|Conference||18th Triennial Conference|
|Period||04/09/2017 → 08/09/2017|
- Bioplastic polytethylene
- Humic Acid
Shashoua, Y., Jankova Atanasova, K., & Curran, C. (2017). Sustainable future alternatives to petroleum-based polymeric conservation materials. In J. B. (Ed.), ICOM-CC 18th Triennial Conference Preprints, Copenhagen, 4–8 September 2017,  International Council of Museums.