Sulfur in marine archaeological shipwrecks

From EurekAlert: Sulfur in marine archaeological shipwrecks — the ‘hull story’ gives a sour aftertaste.

Advanced chemical analyses reveal that, with the help of smart scavenging bacteria, sulfur and iron compounds accumulated in the timbers of the Swedish warship Vasa during her 333 years on the seabed of the Stockholm harbour. Contact with oxygen, in conjunction with the high humidity of the museum environment, causes these contaminants to produce sulfuric acid, according to a new doctoral thesis in chemistry from Stockholm University. [continue]