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Protective Green Patinas on Copper in Outdoor Constructions

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Author(s): Yolanda Hedberg | Inger Odnevall Wallinder

Journal: Journal of Environmental Protection
ISSN 2152-2197

Volume: 02;
Issue: 07;
Start page: 956;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Copper | Runoff | Patina

ABSTRACT
The last 15 years of research related to atmospheric corrosion and the release of copper to the environment are shortly summarized. Brown and green patinas with high barrier properties for corrosion are gradually evolved on copper at atmospheric conditions. The corrosion process and repeated dry and wet cycles results in a partial dissolution of corrosion products within the patina. Dissolved copper can be released and dispersed into the environment via the action of rainwater, however the major part is rearranged within the patina during drying cycles. The majority of corrosion products formed have a poor solubility, very different from water soluble copper salts. The release process is very slow and takes place independent of patina color. Its extent has only a marginal effect on the adherent patina. Released copper rapidly interacts with organic matter and in contact with different surfaces already in the close vicinity of the building, such as drainage systems, storm water pipes, pavements, stone materials and soil systems. These surfaces all have high capacities to retain copper in the runoff water and to reduce its concentration and chemical form to non-available and non-toxic levels for aquatic organisms.
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