Alkaline reserve

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A supply of an alkaline substance added to a material for the purpose of neutralizing future acidic components that may otherwise accumulate. As cellulosic materials are very sensitive to acid degradation, an alkaline reserve is sometimes added to archival papers and treated papers to minimize acid produced embrittlement, yellowing, and deterioration. Some substances that have been tried as alkaline reserves are:

1) Aqueous solutions of [magnesium%20carbonate magnesium carbonate], calcium carbonate, calcium hydroxide, barium hydroxide, magnesium acetate, calcium acetate, calcium chloride, ammonium carbonate, borax, ammonium hydroxide;

2) Alcoholic solutions of methoxy magnesium methyl carbonate, ethoxy magnesium ethyl carbonate, magnesium acetate;

3) Vapor phase agents of ammonia, cyclohexylamine carbonate, morpholine, and diethylzinc.

Synonyms and Related Terms

alkaline buffer; buffering; alkaline sizing; alkaline paper; alkaline sized paper; buffered paper

Other Properties

A 3% reserve is generally recommended.

Additional Information

Paper Conservation Catalog, Book and Paper Group, American Institute for the Conservation, 1989.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Boise Cascade Paper Group, The Paper Handbook, Boise Cascade, Portland OR, 1989
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Book and Paper Group, Paper Conservation Catalog, AIC, 1984, 1989
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • The Dictionary of Paper, American Paper Institute, New York, Fourth Edition, 1980
  • Roy Perkinson, contributed information, 1998