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The impact of aqueous washing on the ability of βFeOOH to corrode iron

Watkinson, D. E. ORCID: and Emmerson, N. J. ORCID: 2017. The impact of aqueous washing on the ability of βFeOOH to corrode iron. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 24 , pp. 2138-2149. 10.1007/s11356-016-6749-3

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Controlling the corrosion of historical and archaeological ferrous metal objects presents a significant challenge to conservators. Chloride is a major corrosion accelerator in coastal areas for historic ferrous metal structures and for the many chloride-containing archaeological objects within museums. Corrosion reactions involve the formation of akaganéite (βFeOOH) which incorporates chloride within its crystal structure and adsorbs it onto its surface. The mobility of the surface-adsorbed chloride in aqueous systems and atmospheric moisture means βFeOOH can itself cause iron to corrode. The extraction of chloride from βFeOOH by aqueous Soxhlet hot wash and aqueous room temperature washing is measured. The impact of this washing on the ability of βFeOOH to corrode iron is quantitatively investigated by determining the oxygen consumption of unwashed, Soxhlet-washed and room temperature-washed samples of βFeOOH mixed with iron powder and exposed to 80 % relative humidity. This acts as a proxy measurement for the corrosion rate of iron. The results are discussed relative to climatic factors for outdoor heritage objects and the treatment of archaeological iron in museums. Delivering better understanding of the properties of βFeOOH supports the development of evidence-based treatments and management procedures in heritage conservation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 0944-1344
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 August 2016
Date of Acceptance: 22 April 2016
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 14:27

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