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Essential oil as natural biocides in conservation of cultural heritage

  • Autori: Franco Palla, Maurizio Bruno, Federica Mercurio, Antonella Tantillo, Valentina Rotolo
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2020
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Essential Oils (EOs) are known since long time and their application actually performed in several fields such as medicine and aromatherapy as well as in food and pharmaceutical industries. In the last decade EOs are also applied to contrast biodeterioration of cultural heritage, representing a powerful resource in a green conservation strategy. In this study an integrated approach, based on microscopy observation, in vitro culture and molecular investigation, has been preliminarily employed to identify biological systems colonizing wooden artworks. In order to contrast the biodeterioration processes induced by fungal colonization (Aspergillus flavus) or insect infestation (Anobium punctatum), wooden artworks have been exposed to the volatile compound of Origanum vulgare or Thymus vulgaris essential oils (EOs), in ad hoc assembled “clean chambers”. Evaluating the effects on biological systems, the compatibility with artwork constitutive materials, the lack of negative effects on human health and on environmental pollution, the use of EOs as valid alternative to traditional biocides must be considered.