Boric Acid substitute...........?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by John Wiegerink, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    I'm still working on my FX-37 experiment and it's going extremely well, but my mind was wandering ahead again. I want to make up some ID-68 to try with some Foma 100 and have everything except Boric Acid. I did a search for a sub for it, but none shows up. Then I remembered that I have a container of Roach Killer so I made a trip to the garage. The roach killer is made by Maxattrax and on the front it says "Roach killing powder with Boric Acid", which I believe is slightly misleading since the active ingredients are: Orthoboric Acid..............99.0% and other ingredients............1%. So, it seems they should have said "Roach Killing Orthoboric Acid powder with other (1%) ingredients. Anyway, enough of that. The question is do you think this will work for making up some ID68 and should I pretty much use the ID-68 formula weight for Booric acid with the "Roach Orthoboric Acid? I have a few old rolls of film for trial and error and the cost of making up a small batch would only be in the pennies. I just don't want to be doing something stupid and if I am for Gods sake please tell me. JohnW:pinch:
     
  2. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Depends what the other 1% is, so why risk it. You can get USP grade boric acid in most drug stores. Get the crystalline rather than the powder as it dissolves faster. This would be a problem with the roach powder since it too is a very fine powder.
     
  3. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    Yes, I'm pretty sure it would work. As for the risk? Maybe that mystery 1% is the magic bullet to make all films come out perfect! Ya, Right! I would not even think of using it on something that is, so called, important. Luckily I've still got some more work to do on my FX-37 project and that will keep me busy for the next two evenings. Then Friday or Sat. I'll get a chance to run down to the local drug shop and see what they got. Sorry for the bother, but I just had a curious mind I guess. JohnW
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    No reason to be sorry better to ask than run the risk of ruining a batch of developer or worse some film.
     
  5. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    Yup, when I was just a pup I was told by a wise old man that the only "stupid questions" are the questions you don't ask. Of course it was many, many years before I finally realized he was a wise old man. JohnW
     
  6. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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  7. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    Just crawled out of the darkroom..........................George that's true about the 1% impurities, but the question is what are they. Harmless to my film? I think maybe they are, but the cheap cost for a good stash of Boric Acid can't be very much I would think. It's late now, but in the morning I'm going to check the Net for the going price. JohnW
     
  8. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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    JohnW, I work now in a laboratory for processing black & white movie film “National University of Theatre and Cinematography Arts “IL Caragiale” from Romania (http://www.unatc.ro/ ).
    Since 1980, when I work in film, preparation of solutions for film development from raw chemical with a purity were photo standard .
    Purity of these substances was around 97- 99 %, according to the standards for photo use.
    High purity chemicals we use in laboratory chemical analysis (reagent).
    I assume that your`s boric acid can be used without problems in the preparation of the developer.
    Borax with boric acid is pH buffer.

    George
     
  9. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    George, I agree with you 100% or at least 99%. Just a joke! You are right in that it's not like I have to take this stuff orally and would worry about what that mystery 1% was. Of course we are eating much worse things out of a can or grocery store and don't know it. You're also right about Borax and Boric Acid together be pH buffer and that's why it's in the old Ilford ID-68 developer. Later I might mix some with the roach powder and then some with the "real" Boric Acid and play with the two. JohnW
     
  10. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I think the point with the roach killer is that it has one or more ADDITIVES not impurities. The label does not specify what they are so caution is advisable.
     
  11. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    Yes,the ADDITIVE/'s are the puzzle, but in my thinking (which gets me in trouble now and then) the additive is probably only an attractant. Say, something like sugar/glucose would be for ants. Maybe the 1% is ground up household garbage to attract the roaches???? Just what I need for most of my shooting! JohnW
     
  12. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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    I do not know English too well.
    I understand that your concern is related to the content of 1% impurities that give killer effect to boric acid . Around 1983 - 1985 several colleagues came to our chemistry labs to give them boric acid to get rid of roaches home kitchen. So, and boric acid used in film processing have a killer effect for roaches.
    Boric acid has deadly effect.

    George
     
  13. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    George,
    You are doing very well with your English. Much, much better than I'm doing with learning Romanian. Fact is that I know no words in Romanian. See, you are way ahead of me! We know that Boric Acid is used to kill ants and roaches that's the 99%. We are just curious what the other 1% might be. Of course it might not be just one thing or chemical, but it might be a compound of things. They might all be good or some might be bad or all of the 1% might be harmful to the film emulsion. I don't think it would be bad and I will find out next week when I make two batches, (one with roach killer and one with pure Boric Acid) and try them out. JohnW
     
  14. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    To quote the late Fred Picker - Try it.
    juan
     
  15. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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    JohnW, 1% impurity from boric acid you see here. http://www.chemicalland21.com/industrialchem/inorganic/boric acid.htm
    (SALES SPECIFICATION).

    BORIC ACID

    APPEARANCE white cystals
    BH3O3 99.0% min
    PHOSPHATES 0.001% max
    SULFATES 0.005% max
    INSOLUBLES 0.005% (in methanol)
    Ca 50ppm max
    Cl 10ppm max
    As 1ppm max
    HEAVY METALS (as Pb) 10ppm max

    George
     
  16. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    juan,
    I liked Fred. He might have been a little quirky, but he did know what he was doing. My first college course had one of his books as required reading and I have one of his darkroom videos stashed somewhere around here. Like Fred, I will try it. JohnW
     
  17. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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    JohnW, boric acid you should find at the pharmacy. It is used for neutralization of alkali accidentally coming into contact with the body. Once, in first aid kits at work and had to be bottle with a solution of boric acid.

    George
     
  18. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    Yes, I will visit my pharmacy tomorrow and see if they have it. I remember, as a small boy, my father plastered houses for a living and the second or finish coat was a mix of lime and gauging plaster. The lime was very caustic and every once in a while you would end up splattering some in your eye. It burned like heck and you had to get it out or it could cause very serious eye sight problems. My father got a glob in his eye and thought he had got it all out, but a day or so later he knew for sure it was still there. He went to one old doctor and that doc thought he had got it out, but a day or so later his eye was still very bad. He then made a trip to an eye doctor and he found the lime, cleaned his eye and sent him home. The eye specialist had him mix some Boric acid and distilled water, put it in a shot glass and then put the shot glass over his eye. He was to then open his eye and look up-down-side to side several times a day. In a day or so his eye was much better. I learned very early that acids aren't the only thing that can get you if the concentration is high enough. JohnW