Deterioration of stone and concrete exposed to bird excreta – examination of the role of glyoxylic acid

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Abstract

The deterioration of buildings as a result of the deposition of bird excreta is a phenomenon which has been well-documented. A number of mechanisms have been proposed as playing a role in deterioration, some of which involve biological processes. Uric acid in bird excreta is broken down by fungi into urea and glyoxylic acid. This paper examines the effect of exposing stone and cement specimens to glyoxylic acid solutions. These materials were a limestone, a sandstone and two cement pastes – Portland and calcium sulfoaluminate cement. Specimens of these materials were submerged in acid solutions and deterioration characterised using mass loss measurements, micro-CT scanning, and analysis of the solutions at the end of the experiment and the acid-degraded layers at the specimen surface. Attempts were made to synthesise and characterise calcium salts of glyoxylic acid. Additionally, geochemical modelling was conducted to provide further understanding of the deterioration processes. The results indicate that the main processes involved in glyoxylic acid attack of the materials investigated are acidolysis and complex formation. No calcium glyoxylate salts were present in the degraded materials. Instead, a conversion of glyoxylate to oxalate occurred leading to precipitation of calcium oxalate compounds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-141
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Biodeterioration and Biodegradation
Volume125
Early online date15 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Fingerprint

Birds
Deterioration
Concretes
bird
Acids
acid
calcium
Cements
Calcium
cement
oxalate
Calcium Compounds
Calcium compounds
Biological Phenomena
Calcium Oxalate
Salts
Oxalates
salt
Calcium Carbonate
Ointments

Keywords

  • Bird excreta
  • Fungi
  • Glyoxylic acid
  • Limestone
  • Sandstone
  • Cement

Cite this

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title = "Deterioration of stone and concrete exposed to bird excreta – examination of the role of glyoxylic acid",
abstract = "The deterioration of buildings as a result of the deposition of bird excreta is a phenomenon which has been well-documented. A number of mechanisms have been proposed as playing a role in deterioration, some of which involve biological processes. Uric acid in bird excreta is broken down by fungi into urea and glyoxylic acid. This paper examines the effect of exposing stone and cement specimens to glyoxylic acid solutions. These materials were a limestone, a sandstone and two cement pastes – Portland and calcium sulfoaluminate cement. Specimens of these materials were submerged in acid solutions and deterioration characterised using mass loss measurements, micro-CT scanning, and analysis of the solutions at the end of the experiment and the acid-degraded layers at the specimen surface. Attempts were made to synthesise and characterise calcium salts of glyoxylic acid. Additionally, geochemical modelling was conducted to provide further understanding of the deterioration processes. The results indicate that the main processes involved in glyoxylic acid attack of the materials investigated are acidolysis and complex formation. No calcium glyoxylate salts were present in the degraded materials. Instead, a conversion of glyoxylate to oxalate occurred leading to precipitation of calcium oxalate compounds.",
keywords = "Bird excreta, Fungi, Glyoxylic acid, Limestone, Sandstone, Cement",
author = "Thomas Dyer",
note = "Funding: none.",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1016/j.ibiod.2017.09.002",
language = "English",
volume = "125",
pages = "125--141",
journal = "International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation",
issn = "0964-8305",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Deterioration of stone and concrete exposed to bird excreta – examination of the role of glyoxylic acid

AU - Dyer, Thomas

N1 - Funding: none.

PY - 2017/11

Y1 - 2017/11

N2 - The deterioration of buildings as a result of the deposition of bird excreta is a phenomenon which has been well-documented. A number of mechanisms have been proposed as playing a role in deterioration, some of which involve biological processes. Uric acid in bird excreta is broken down by fungi into urea and glyoxylic acid. This paper examines the effect of exposing stone and cement specimens to glyoxylic acid solutions. These materials were a limestone, a sandstone and two cement pastes – Portland and calcium sulfoaluminate cement. Specimens of these materials were submerged in acid solutions and deterioration characterised using mass loss measurements, micro-CT scanning, and analysis of the solutions at the end of the experiment and the acid-degraded layers at the specimen surface. Attempts were made to synthesise and characterise calcium salts of glyoxylic acid. Additionally, geochemical modelling was conducted to provide further understanding of the deterioration processes. The results indicate that the main processes involved in glyoxylic acid attack of the materials investigated are acidolysis and complex formation. No calcium glyoxylate salts were present in the degraded materials. Instead, a conversion of glyoxylate to oxalate occurred leading to precipitation of calcium oxalate compounds.

AB - The deterioration of buildings as a result of the deposition of bird excreta is a phenomenon which has been well-documented. A number of mechanisms have been proposed as playing a role in deterioration, some of which involve biological processes. Uric acid in bird excreta is broken down by fungi into urea and glyoxylic acid. This paper examines the effect of exposing stone and cement specimens to glyoxylic acid solutions. These materials were a limestone, a sandstone and two cement pastes – Portland and calcium sulfoaluminate cement. Specimens of these materials were submerged in acid solutions and deterioration characterised using mass loss measurements, micro-CT scanning, and analysis of the solutions at the end of the experiment and the acid-degraded layers at the specimen surface. Attempts were made to synthesise and characterise calcium salts of glyoxylic acid. Additionally, geochemical modelling was conducted to provide further understanding of the deterioration processes. The results indicate that the main processes involved in glyoxylic acid attack of the materials investigated are acidolysis and complex formation. No calcium glyoxylate salts were present in the degraded materials. Instead, a conversion of glyoxylate to oxalate occurred leading to precipitation of calcium oxalate compounds.

KW - Bird excreta

KW - Fungi

KW - Glyoxylic acid

KW - Limestone

KW - Sandstone

KW - Cement

U2 - 10.1016/j.ibiod.2017.09.002

DO - 10.1016/j.ibiod.2017.09.002

M3 - Article

VL - 125

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EP - 141

JO - International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation

JF - International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation

SN - 0964-8305

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