Our aim was to investigate the behaviour of iron species (Fe(II), Fe(III) in prepared iron-gall inks deposited on the Whatman paper and their destructive effects on cellulose chains during accelerated ageing at 60°C and 65% relative humidity, constant. The attention was focused to examine the changes of optical, chemical and mechanical properties of paper. Different testing methods, such ascellulose degree of polymerisation, colorimetric tests, bursting strength, pH of aqueous cold extract and techniques (FTIR spectroscopy) were compared in terms of their suitability for monitoring the degradation processes. The catalytic activity of iron ions in cellulose degradation mechanisms was experimentally verified and the relationship between the acid-catalysed hydrolysis and metal-catalysed oxidation of cellulose was demonstrated.
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