Mass deacidification


The fact that pulp wood has been used as an industrial mass product since the middle of the 19th century is not made to last: With increasing age, acids from the glue and the ambient air damage the integrity of the cellulose fibers. The paper yellows and becomes brittle until it cannot be used. This process is responsible for up to 90 percent of the loss of books and documents. Since the company was founded, we at the PAL PRESERVATION ACADEMY have been involved in the development of effective yet cost-effective deacidification processes. Since then we have saved well over 2.5 million books, files and archival materials from disintegration.

Our PAL Book Saver® deacidification works as a non-aqueous impregnation process in which all substances that are introduced into the paper for deacidification are in liquid form. Our treatment chemical is based on an organometallic magnesium compound. This particle-free solution has the advantage of optimally penetrating the fibers of the paper and thus ensuring very good sustainability of the treatment.

But before the deacidification material is actively treated, our specialists come to the archive or library, sift through the inventory and coordinate the professional transport. When they arrive at the PAL, each book is examined and recorded in our IT system. Materials unsuitable for deacidification are selected in advance of the treatment.

For treatment with the PAL Book Saver® process, it is not necessary to remove the natural paper moisture from the cellulose material. For this reason, it is possible to dispense with predrying the paper, which is harmful to the material. Since the treatment with our process takes place at low temperatures, the objects are cooled prior to deacidification in the sense of a preconditioning. In the process chambers, the documents are completely immersed in the deacidification liquid. The pH value in the paper is raised and, as a result, an acid buffer is formed, which protects the paper from further, acid-induced degeneration over the long term.

Once the immersion phase in the treatment chambers has ended, the material to be deacidified is reconditioned.
Depending on the nature of the material, this process takes a few hours to several days. As a rule, however, the phase is completed after a few hours. Before our logisticians properly pack the deacidified documents for return transport, we finally examine and document the condition of each object.

In the course of repositioning, the library or archive materials find their original place with our customers with the exact signature and are now protected from the effects of cellulose decay for many decades.




Below is a 15-minute post on mass deacidification.
This was produced by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU Vienna) in 2010 and can certainly give you a good first overview of the topic of paper deacidification. The deacidification system shown here is not the one installed in the PAL. Our deacidification system is significantly smaller.

Let us advise you!