ANOXIA, Treatment by Oxygen Deprivation, Optimizing Treatment Time of Museum Objects

Source: arXiv


ANOXIA, treatment by oxygen deprivation is largely used for decontamination and disinfestation of cellulose and protein-based organic materials. More specifically this method is applied to more than one hundred thousand of objects destinated for a new museum in Paris, "Musee du Quai Branly". We describe the anoxia installation in this museum and report the result of a study regarding the efficiency of this method and the optimum treatment time, crucial for treating a large collection. We show that the standard 21 days of exposure is not always the optimal choice. Temperature plays a crucial role for hastening the death of insects found within objects. At a temperature of 25C, it is entirely possible to reduce exposure times to 10 or 15 days for the insect species commonly found in museums. The oxygen drop times is between 1 and 2 days for most objects, depending on type and porosity of materials. This corresponds to a treatment time between 15 and 16 days. The effect of humidity is less clear. It can increase the necessary treatment time both for larvae and for adult insects.

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    ABSTRACT: Anoxic treatments using argon and nitrogen gas in controlled atmospheres have been used as a alternative to methyl bromide for insect disinfection in museums. Anoxic chamber system was manufactured and installed at The National Folk Museum of Korea for the first time in Korea. The internal capacity of anoxic chamber is 0.5m3 in which is able to use argon, nitrogen and carbon dioxide gas. This system is equipped with oxygen concentration, temperature and ralative humidity control devices and automatically controlled oxygen concentration from 0.01 to 20%, temperature from 10 to and relative humidity 30 to 80%. To control the oxygen concentration, anoxic chamber system is adopted semi-dynamic method which supplies mixture of humidified gas and dry gas whenever oxygen concentration in chamber becomes higher than setting value. It has kept regularly oxygen concentration, temperature and relative humidity for 20 days using argon gas. To evaluate the disinfection of cigarette beetle larvae and adults and varied carpet beetle larvae, the anoxic chamber system maintained 0.01% of oxygen concentration, in temperature and 50% in relative humidity for 30 days. Cigarette beetle larvae were killed in 7 days and adults in 3~5 days. And varied carpet beetle larvae were killed in 3 days. It reaches the conclusion form the evaluation this anoxic chamber system can be used to develop anoxic treatment as an alternative of methyl bromide for insect disinfection of infested cultural properties in museums.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2012