My name is Kathy Whitaker, and I will be starting my junior year at Rowan University in the fall of 2008. I am majoring in chemical engineering and plan to begin working toward a chemistry minor in the upcoming year.
This summer, I am working with the Scherer Group as part of Princeton’s summer REU program. I am working closely with Rosa Espinosa to determine whether treating limestone samples with a solution of polyacrylic acid will minimize the crystallization pressure from salt in the stone. We hope the polyacrylic acid will reduce the pressure inside the limestone enough to prevent the salt from damaging the stone.
Comparison of a set of samples treated with various amounts of polyacrylic acid, increasing from left to right. The samples with less treatment were badly damaged by exposure to sodium sulfate, while the treated ones were protected.