Analysis of changes in composition of amber with ageing using pyrolysis/GC/MS

열분해/GC/MS를 이용한 열화 호박(amber)의 성분 변화 분석

  • Park, Jongseo (Research Division of Restoration Technology, National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage)
  • 박종서 (국립문화재연구소 복원기술연구실)
  • Received : 2012.04.30
  • Accepted : 2013.06.12
  • Published : 2013.06.25


Ambers have been used mostly as beads, jewelry and ornaments from ancient times and excavated as a buried artifact. When excavated, they are severely weathered to be cracked, exfoliated and disintegrated. Monitoring of changes in composition of amber according to weathering is very important for diagnosing the condition of amber and applying conservation materials and techniques. In this study, we tried to find the components of amber by analyzing amber with pyrolysis/GC/MS. The changes in the composition of pyrolzates after artificial ageing for 60 days under heat and oxygen were also observed. Abietic acid was detected as a main component of fresh amber and monoterpene, alkene, aromatic hydrocarbon were detected as major pyrolyzates. Changes with artificial ageing was estimated by comparing the peak area ratio of 23 components, and it was found that abietic acid abruptly decreased in the presence of heat and oxygen together, revealing that oxygen is a key factor to the deterioration of amber. It was also tried to understand the weathered surface of original amber gemstone based on the result of this ageing experiment.


amber;py/GC/MS;artificial ageing;composition


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