The Dynamics and Control of Indoor Air Pollution in Repositories Without Mechanical Ventilation for Cultural Heritage Collections. A Literature Review

Signe Hjerrild Smedemark*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Airflow distributes contaminants inside buildings. Infiltration through unintentional openings in the building envelope controls the airflow in unoccupied repositories without heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. A restricted airflow may lead to the development of thermal stratification and “dead-spaces” where air pollutants emitted from construction materials or the heritage collection accumulates.
Heritage collections can act as both an emission source and a sink for carboxylic acids. Carboxylic acids can cause irreversible heterogeneous reactions with the surface of materials, e.g. tarnishing metals. It is therefore crucial to establish the dynamics of carboxylic acids inside repositories without HVAC systems, in order to determine and control its impact on the longterm preservation of heritage collections.
This paper presents a literature review on air dynamics and control of carboxylic acids inside unoccupied repositories without HVAC systems. It furthermore reviews reported levels of carboxylic acids found inside heritage institutions and sorbents used to remove them. Further research on air dynamics and whether carboxylic acids is removed primarily by deposition onto collections, or by filtration in HVAC systems inside heritage institutions is, however, necessary in order to establish the benefits of air filtration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalePreservationScience
Pages (from-to)17
Number of pages29
ISSN1581-9280
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2018

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