Iranian Polymer Journal

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 1057–1068 | Cite as

Tough and translucent hydrogel electrode for electrochemical cleaning of paper artworks

  • Xingtang Liang
  • Changling Lei
  • Zijie Liu
  • Shuming Zhong
  • Ruirui Zhang
  • Yunying Zheng
  • Yanzhen YinEmail author
  • Shufei Jiao
  • Daodao HuEmail author
Original Research


Due to the favorable retention power and viscosity, the hydrogel that is loaded with an aqueous detergent, represents a promising cleaning tool for removing the foreign matters such as polymer adhesive, starch paste, and animal glue from paper artworks. However, it is still challenging to eliminate other stains, including organic dyes, commercial drinks, foxing, and mildew. Herein, we present an alternative methodology, translucent hydrogel-containing electrolyte-based electrochemical cleaning (EC), which incorporates electrochemical reactions into the hydrogel-based cleaning process using the extremely tough and translucent alginate/polyacrylamide hydrogel as cathode and PbO2 as anode. The proposed approach is generally applicable to eliminate different stains such as organic dyes, commercial drinks, mildew, and foxing from paper under several mA/cm2 and a few minutes in a small controlled area. For the excellent mechanical strength, the hydrogel electrode can be reused for several times without losing its efficiency and easily peeled-off from paper as one body without any gel residues after cleaning. We further demonstrate the effect of EC on the treated paper, including the morphology, degree of polymerization, crystal structure, and mechanical properties. We conclude that the influence of EC on the paper is slight under the mild treatment.


Translucent Tough Hydrogel electrode Electrochemical cleaning Paper artwork 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21773150 and 51663020), Natural Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars of Guangxi Province (2017GXNSFFA198007), the project of Guangxi Colleges and Universities for the promotion of foundation ability of young teachers (2018KY0599 and KY2016YB74), and the Project of Guangxi Colleges and Universities Key Laboratory of Beibu Gulf Oil and Natural Gas Resource Effective Utilization (2017KLOG12). The authors also acknowledge Guangxi Colleges and Universities Innovation Research Team.

Supplementary material

13726_2019_765_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3395 kb)


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Copyright information

© Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Qinzhou Key Laboratory of Biowaste Resources for Selenium-Enriched Functional Utilization, School of Petroleum and Chemical EngineeringBeibu Gulf UniversityQinzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Materials Science and EngineeringShaanxi Normal UniversityXi’anChina

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