New nanomaterials for protecting and consolidating stone

This conservation strategy takes advantage of bacterially induced calcium carbonate precipitation to cement carbonate rocks, a phenomenon that is widespread in natural environments such as soils, caves, lakes, and oceans single bacterial cultures with proven carbonatogenic ability.

In recent years, bacterial biomineralization, also called bacterial carbonatogenesis, has emerged as an environmentally friendly methodology for the conservation of decayed stones, particularly those made up of carbonate minerals (such as limestone and marble, which are among the most commonly used in artworks and monuments).

Special focus is given to the factors that can influence the success of the treatment. S-F would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Santander Universidades through “Becas Iberoamérica Jóvenes Profesores e Investigadores, España 2015” Scholarship Program.

These studies were supported by the Community of Madrid under the Geomaterials 2 Programme (S2013/MIT-2914) and Multimat-Challenge (S2013/MIT-2862), the Innovation and Education Ministry (Climortec, BIA2014-53911-R, MAT2016-80875-C3-3-R, and MAT2013-47460-C5-5-P), and the FOMIX-Yuc 2008-108160, CONACYT LAB-2013, 188345, and Fronteras de la Ciencia No.

The fact that the isolated and identified bacterial community is common to many stone artworks may enable worldwide application of this novel conservation methodology.

Landmarks of the world’s cultural heritage, like the pyramids and the Sphinx in Egypt, the cathedrals in Europe and America, and the Maya temples in Mesoamerica, built of or carved out of stone, are inexorably crumbling due to physical, chemical and biological weathering.

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