Ammonia spell, where from?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Loose Gravel, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbar
    It seems that at the end of a session of printing or film developing, as I am pouring and rinsing and cleaning up, I often get a whiff of ammonia. What is getting mixed with what to give me this odor?
     
  2. Canuck

    Canuck Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Great White
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Wonder if it could be the fix as a lot of rapid fixers use ammonium thiosulphate.
     
  3. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbar
    Canuck, could be, must be. What sets it off? Some acid or base?
     
  4. Canuck

    Canuck Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Great White
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What I discovered was that the mixing of the developer and fixer gives this nice pungent aroma. Just tried it to confirm it :smile:
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Mixing ammonium thiosulfate (rapid fix) with a strong alkali (developer) releases ammonia. Basic chemistry! :tongue:
     
  6. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Very enlightening

    That was a wonderful explanation. Now please tell me how simply imbibing tap water puts the ammonia smell into my Depends.
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,979
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i mixed formulary tf-4 with tap water instead of distilled water and got outgassing of ammonia. it is the only chemistry i have had this happen with, and was told that it was the chlorine & other additives in the tapwater.

    maybe you are having the same problem claire :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2005
  8. eumenius

    eumenius Member

    Messages:
    768
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    Moscow, Russ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hey, the higher is the dilution, the further goes the hydrolysis - both acid and base in ammonium thiosulfate are weak, so no wonder it hydrolyzes so readily, giving you a full aroma :smile:))

    Zhenya
     
  9. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    [Blatant plug]
    That's why I made my OF-1 fixer buffered. Well - one of the reasons, but in my eyes (and nose) an important one. Find it in the Chemistry Recipes section.
    [/Blatant Plug]
     
  10. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

    Messages:
    3,221
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    S.E. New Yor
    Lately I've been processing some Efke KB100 and when I open the tank after dumping the fixer...P.U.! It's not Amonia or Acid or Sulpher. It smells like that Moo Shu Pork that you shoved to the back of your refrigerator a few months ago and forgot about. It goes away quickly with washing but really knocks you over when you first open the tank. Never experienced it with any other film.
     
  11. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Island Heigh
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I get this too when I'm mixing Perma-Wash with Selenium Toner. I don't know which chemicals are reacting with which, but it's something in that combination of washing aid with selenium toner.

    Larry
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Why on earth do you do that???? Mix your selenium toner with water; your Perma-Wash with water, and keep the two separate!

    KRST contains ammonium thiosulfate, BTW...
     
  13. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I too believe the smell is from the ammonium thiosulfate in the KRST


    lee\c
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2005
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Island Heigh
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF

    I wasn't clear enough. I don't mix the PermaWash and Selenium together directly, but add both of them to water to make my washing aid. I'm not adding enough selenium to act as a toner and change the print tone, but only enough to coat the silver particles and add permanence. When I want to actually tone prints, then, of course I keep them separate.

    Larry
     
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The value of this is questionable, from what I've heard. I think the main effect is to release selenium into the environment, without beneficial effects to the prints.
     
  17. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Island Heigh
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF

    Any source for this? I'd like to check it out, because I agree that if it's not helping my prints, then there's good reason not to do it. I haven't heard the efficacy of this questioned before. I use about 30 ml of selenium per liter of washing aid.
     
  18. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

    Messages:
    889
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Location:
    Denton, TX,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    am I reading this wrong, or is the archival value of KRST seriously questionable?

    Should we start a new thread for this?
    All other things being equal, does treatment of negs and prints with KRST increase, have no effect on, or decrease archival permanence?

    -KwM-
     
  19. ann

    ann Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,920
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Shooter:
    35mm
    i thought i posted this the other day, but
    ole, many years ago it was common to mix sel. with HCA. old school thinking.

    THe last time i looked the directions on the KST label still list that as an option.

    Maine-iac

    it would b e helpful for you to review the data from the IPI regarding the archival properties of selenium. Based on their recommendations, what you are doing is not adding any permance protection. It is neither cost effective or environmental sound.

    Am sorry i don't have the orginal paper source, but check out Tim Rudmans' comments in his book on Toning under the chapter on Archival permanence.
     
  20. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Island Heigh
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF

    Thanks, Ann, I will check it out. I don't like Selenium any better than the next guy. Maybe you can teach old dogs new tricks.

    Larry
     
  21. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The value of KRST is not in question, but the value of a light toning without tonal change is.

    I think it was dicussed in some depth on the pure-silver mailing list a while back, but I'm going to have to hope for some help here. Ryuji?
     
  22. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Ole,
    Richard Knoppow is the expert on this. I believe he a paper on it somewhere in his files. But regardless, he is the one to contact. From what I remember, you have the facts right.

    lee\c
     
  23. ann

    ann Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,920
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Shooter:
    35mm
    am sure Ryuji can provide the specific date of the papers, as this was discussed in depth a month or so ago on pure-silver.

    as i remember he provided a lot of data. i thought i saved that particular thread but will have to go search around in other files.

    And as always Ole is correct.
     
  24. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Island Heigh
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    A quick Google search turned up the following info. I'll follow up on the suggested pure-silver articles to see if the thinking has changed.

    From Lloyd ErlickĀ’s website (1998 article)
    Selenium itself is not particularly toxic. . .The problem with selenium is that it reacts with other substances to form soluble reaction products which are toxic. When it reacts to form insoluble reaction products, they tend to be less toxic. A good example is silver selenide, which is formed on a photographic print as it is being toned. The color we see in a selenium toned print is the color of silver-selenide coating the microscopic particles of silver metal we have in our print. It's very fortunate that humans find this color agreeable, because this selenide coating (or plating) on the silver particles also protects the silver from many substances that would react with it and degrade the image. Sulfur dioxide, a common air pollutant, is a good example.

    From handcolor.com
    What toners do is convert metallic silver to a silver sulfide or to a silver selenide creating an inert compound that significantly reduces the effect of oxidizing agents that may reduce the life of a black and white print. Selenium toner converts metallic silver to a silver selenide for greater image stability. . .Selenium toner when used for archival permanence ( 1 part Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner + 39 parts water and left in solution for 10 minutes ) will halt the ravage of time with no appreciable shift in color.
     
  25. dancqu

    dancqu Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Willamette V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I've studied that IPI paper. It should be made clear that their
    concern is with microfilm.

    Here is your new trick for today. For complete protection
    prepare a .01% solution of Na2S, sodium sulfide, then soak
    the print in that solution. The IPI paper did not suggest
    any times. I'd think 3 or 4 minutes would do.

    If paper and microfilm silver are similar than the 1:9,999
    solution will give very good archival protection.

    IIRC, the matter of selenium's value as an archival treatment
    is wholely concerned with microfilm. There may be no studies
    of it's worth where papers are the subject. Dan
     
  26. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Sorry, just can't take it anymore....

    Returning to the original question, we have now explored the possible sources for ammonia smell. For what was really asked about (see title of thread), I have no answer. And unfortunately Hogwart's isn't on email, so it's difficult to get in touch with them.