Tasty on fish & chips but a problem for museums… SEAHA student Sarah Hunt recently blogged about her work in heritage science detecting acetic acid in The Book and Paper Gathering. Acetic acid is known to be damaging to museum artefacts and is particularly problematic within display cases. As damage occurs below the odour threshold, Sarah blogs about her development of piezoelectric quartz (PQC) crystal sensors to quantify parts per billion concentrations of acetic acid inside display cases.
Sarah also discusses how her work has wide application to museums and heritage objects; PQCs are sensitive to nanogram changes of mass and are also small, affordable, and have fast response times.
Sarah Hunt is a SEAHA student based in the School of Pharmacy at UCL. Supported by the National Physical Laboratory, TA Instruments & the Mary Rose Trust, her project investigates air quality inside museum display cases, with a particular focus on emissions from waterlogged organic collections.
Image: Sarah Hunt, Battery-operated prototype sensor board for the PQC acetic acid sensors. It has the capability to remotely log data from eight sensors.