Removal of Organic Acids from Indoor Air in Museum Storage Rooms by Active and Passive Sorption Techniques

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Adsorbent materials can be used for the removal of organic acids from air in storage rooms with heritage collections. The organic acid removal efficiency of two commercially available activated carbon air-filters were tested in situ in two unoccupied stores with densely packed collections. One filter was designed for outdoor type pollutants (Filter A), while the other was designed for organic acids in indoor air (Filter B). Furthermore, the acetic acid removal efficiency of a desiccant silica gel rotor used for dehumidification was measured in a laboratory at different relative humidity levels. Finally, passive removal of acetic acid by silica gel and unfired clay brick were tested in a chamber, and for clay brick at room level as well. Filter B had the highest removal efficiency. The removal efficiency of both filter types depended on the airflow and the filter performance varied considerably in situ from the values reported from standard laboratory tests. Increasing the filter airflow reduced the removal efficiency from 77% and down to 7% for Filter A, and from 92% to 24% for Filter B. There was almost no effect of active air filtration on the concentration of organic acids when this was measured in the middle and in the corner of the storage rooms away from the ventilation inlets. The desiccant dehumidifier removed 98–100% of the acetic acid from the air, independently of the relative humidity. The desiccant rotor will, however, only be running when there is a need for dehumidification and as a result will only periodically remove pollutants. The high acid removal efficiency by dry silica gel was furthermore demonstrated in a chamber test. A clay brick wall in a test room established a concentration gradient across the room and reduced the concentration of organic acids by 56% compared to close to the emission source.
TidsskriftStudies in Conservation
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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