Use of bacterial cellulose in degraded paper restoration. Part I: application on model papers


The disappearance of bibliographic heritage is one of the biggest problems facing libraries. One of the most common methods used to restore paper, lining, is to apply a reinforcing layer to the document. This study focuses on lining papers with bacterial cellulose (BC) sheets from Gluconacetobacter sucrofermentans. For this purpose, several model papers have been selected. They have been characterized before and after the lining with this BC and a specific Japanese paper (JP) to compare both materials. Taking into account the differences between bacterial and vegetal cellulose is expected that the results may be similar to other BC and JP. The samples have been characterized before and after an aging process. There are no significant differences in some of the characteristics studied. Nevertheless, BC-lined papers present higher gloss values and b* coordinate. The wettability decreases with both BC and JP. However, in papers lined with BC, the wettability decreases more markedly and independently of the model paper used. This is related to the sealing of the surface structure by BC, which also leads to a reduction of air permeability. When the lined papers go through an aging process, there are no significant changes in any characteristic, except in b* and L* color coordinates. Additionally, the wettability rate decreases in all cases. This study indicates that papers lined with BC are stable over time. Finally, the use of BC as reinforcing material may offer advantages for specific conservation treatments, being more suitable for certain types of paper than JP.

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The authors wish to thank the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation for funding this study via Project CTQ 2010-17702, and the Madrid Regional Government via Project RETO PROSOST P2013-MAE2907.

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Correspondence to Sara M. Santos.

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Santos, S.M., Carbajo, J.M., Gómez, N. et al. Use of bacterial cellulose in degraded paper restoration. Part I: application on model papers. J Mater Sci 51, 1541–1552 (2016).

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  • Wettability
  • Aging Process
  • Bacterial Cellulose
  • Bacterial Cellulose Production
  • Mechanical Pulp