Olive oil (image: Alex Ex/Wikimedia Commons)
C 1s XP spectra for calcite and coated hydrophobic calcite and superhydrophic calcite
York Minster (Image: Andy Barrett/Wikipedia)
York Minster showing scaffolding on East Front and damage to the famous Great East Window
Mechanism of sulphate-induced limestone decay, and protection by superhydrophobic coating
York Minster is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe and one of the great monuments of medieval architecture. Built in the city of York, UK between 1220 and 1472, it has suffered looting, vandalism, arson and a devastating fire after a lightning strike in 1984. Despite decades of restoration costing millions of pounds, the Minster still faces an implacable enemy, the air itself. In hopes of protecting the Minster from rotting away due to air pollution, Dr. Karen Wilson and Prof. Adam Lee of the Cardiff School of Chemistry, Cardiff University along with researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered that the key to saving the church may lie in olive oil.
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