Potential utilization of calcium alkoxides as stone consolidants was considered. Reaction of Ca(OCH3)2, Ca(OCH2CH3)2(CH3CH2OH)4 and Ca[OCH(CH3)2]2 with the atmosphere in different experimental conditions was studied. The reaction produced CaCO3 and two different pathways seem to be involved, the first taking place through CO2 insertion into the Ca-O bond of Ca(OR)2 species with formation of an alkylcarbonate derivative, subsequently transformed into CaCO3 through ROH elimination; the second takes place through hydrolysis of Ca(OR)2 to Ca(OH)2, which is then carbonated to CaCO3. The vaterite/calcite ratios found in the final CaCO3 vary considerably with the experimental conditions adopted. Investigations demonstrated the potentiality of Ca(OCH3)2 to act as a stone consolidant. In fact, impregnation of a porous substrate, simulating the deteriorated stone, with a methanol solution of Ca(OCH3)2, produced a crystalline vaterite film, which gradually filled all the pores and cavities of substrate and seems to fulfil the necessary requirements for a consolidant. Copyright ï¿½ 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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