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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2011 Apr;399(10):3589-600. doi: 10.1007/s00216-011-4680-5. Epub 2011 Jan 28.

Degradation product emission from historic and modern books by headspace SPME/GC-MS: evaluation of lipid oxidation and cellulose hydrolysis.

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Department of Chemistry, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA 90263, USA.


Volatile organic compounds emitted from a several decade series of bound periodicals (1859-1939) printed on ground wood paper, as well as historical books dating from the 1500s to early 1800s made from cotton/linen rag, were studied using an improved headspace SPME/GC-MS method. The headspace over the naturally aging books, stored upright in glass chambers, was monitored over a 24-h period, enabling the identification of a wide range of organic compounds emanating from the whole of the book. The detection of particular straight chain aldehydes, as well as characteristic alcohols, alkenes and ketones is correlated with oxidative degradation of the C(18) fatty acid constituency of paper. The relative importance of hydrolytic and oxidative chemistry involved in paper aging in books published between 1560 and 1939 was examined by comparing the relative abundances of furfural (FUR) a known cellulose hydrolysis product, and straight chain aldehydes (SCA) produced from the oxidation of fatty acids in paper. The relative abundance of furfural is shown to increase across the 379-year publication time span. A comparison of relative SCA peak areas across the series of books examined reveals that SCA emission is more important in the cotton/linen rag books than in the ground wood books.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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