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Re: Pyrite Disease



Dieter wrote:-

> 
> QUESTIONS FOR THE DINOSAUR LIST:
> 
> 1.  The famous collection of Iguanodon in Belgium suffered
>     from "pyrite disease" - the oxidation of iron pyrite
>     ("fool's gold" ) occupying bones as fossilization material.
>     The resultant iron sulphate caused the fossils to crumble.
> 
>     The problem is apparently solved by use of ETHANOLAMINE
>     THIOGLYCOLATE.  Does anyone have experience with this and
>     where is there a supplier?
> 
>     I'd like to use it for the treatment of mineral specimens
>     suffering oxidation such as pyrite octahedrons.
>     Does it clean the surface of pyrite without etching?
> 

I'm afraid that the current attitude to pyrite 'rot' is not promising.  If
it has started then there is little you can do.  The important thing is
to keep the bones in a stable environment.  Temperature and humidity
fluctuations promote pyrite 'rot'.  As for the use of solvents etc. the
only way they can be of use is if they are introduced to the specimen
under vacuum conditions to coat all surfaces internally and externally. 
We have had several carefully conserved specimens explode spectacularly
due to pyrite 'rot' building up under the protective skin of solvents. 
One solution to the problem is to produce accurate replicas of your
prized specimens so that when they go you at least have a copy of what
they looked like.

Of course, someone may know different???

Neil Clark
Hunterian Museum
gxha14@udcf.gla.ac.uk