An overview of nanolime as a consolidation method for calcareous substrates

  • Jorge Otero
  • A. Elena Charola
  • Carol Grissom
  • Vincenzo Starinieri
Palabras clave: Nanolime, Calcium hydroxide, Consolidation, Limewater, Conservation, Nanoparticles, Synthesis, Calcareous substrates


Ca(OH)2 particles with submicrometric dimensions (nanolimes) represent one of the most promising consolidants for the conservation of calcareous substrates. The nanolime treatment is similar to the limewater technique, traditionally used for its durability and high compatibility with the calcareous matrix but requiring a large number of applications and not always yielding a highly effective consolidation. Since 2001, alcohol-based dispersions of Ca(OH)2 nanoparticles have been synthesised to overcome the limitations of the limewater treatment. Nanolimes present the same high compatibility and durability of the traditional technique but superior properties in terms of higher consolidation, penetration and reactivity, and fewer side effects. Since their discovery, nanolimes have been investigated by several research groups with the aim of refining their synthesis process, properties and applications. This paper presents an overview of the most relevant literature about nanolime as a consolidant for calcareous substrates.


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Biografía del autor/a

Jorge Otero

PhD student

A. Elena Charola

Dr. A. Elena Charola obtained her doctorate in Chemistry from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina. After having served at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (1981-85) and at ICCROM, Rome (1986-87), she has been in private practice, working mainly for World Monuments Fund and its Portuguese affiliate WMF-Portugal as Scientific Advisor and Program Coordinator (2005-08). For over 15 years, she was Lecturer at the Graduate Program of Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania and a Guest Lecturer at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. At the Museum Conservation Institute of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, she was a Visiting Scientist (2008-2010) and is currently a Research Scientist since 2011. She has published extensively in the field of stone conservation. 

Carol Grissom

Carol Grissom has been Senior Objects Conservator at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute since 1984. She obtained a master’s degree in art conservation from Oberlin College and gained further training at the national conservation institutes of Belgium and Italy. Her special interests include stone and metals conservation, notably of nineteenth-century zinc sculpture.  

Vincenzo Starinieri

Dr. Vincenzo Starinieri is a Research Fellow in the Materials and Engineering Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University. He holds a PhD in Science for Conservation of Cultural Heritage from the University of Bologna and a Master’s Degree in Geology from the University of Chieti - Pescara. He specialises in the characterisation of masonry materials, the investigation of their degradation phenomena and the development of materials and technologies for their conservation and repair.

Cómo citar
Otero, J., Charola, A. E., Grissom, C., & Starinieri, V. (2017). An overview of nanolime as a consolidation method for calcareous substrates. Ge-Conservacion, 11, 71-78.