Chemistry Question: Sodium Sulfite & Sodium Carbonate

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by c6h6o3, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I have two quart amber glass jars in which I stored my sodium sulfite and sodium carbonate stock solutions for making ABC pyro. I haven't used ABC in about 6 years and never emptied the jars. The solution in one jar is clear. Is that the carbonate? The solution in the other jar is black as pitch. That's the sulfite, right?
     
  2. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I'm not entirely sure what you have in solution but, assuming that these are simple water solutions...neither one should be black.
     
  3. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    I have had these for years and years. I have never seen either turn black.

    I wonder if they reacted to something like a jar lid or other contaminate.
     
  4. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Maybe it was the Solution A jar that I didn't empty. So now the question is: do you guys know of a quick and easy way to tell if the clear liquid is sulfite or carbonate?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2011
  5. el wacho

    el wacho Member

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    test the clear solution which appears to be functional.

    develop some cachetol with it.

    if it is carbonate, you should get an image. if it is sulfite, you won't.
     
  6. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Would Pyrocat HD Solution A work as 'catechol'?
     
  7. el wacho

    el wacho Member

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    for sure.
     
  8. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    all this time, I can't help thinking...sulfite and carbonate are both cheap and readily available (here in the US)....why not just dump out what you have and mix up some fresh?
     
  9. panchro-press

    panchro-press Member

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    As cheap as both are, just dump 'em!

    -30-
     
  10. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Dump the contents are thoroughly wash both containers.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I would dump everything, but if you insist on a test, if you add acid to Carbonate it fizzez and if you add acid to Sulfite it stinks.

    PE
     
  12. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Thanks, Ron. Am I correct in assuming that the black liquid had to be the A solution? (pyrogallol, sodium bisulfite and KBr. It had about 6 years to oxidize in that half full jar.)

    Of course I'm going to dump all the old liquids. But I don't want to put any of the new solutions in a container which contained a different one. I'd get new jars first.
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Jim;

    If it is black, it is not the Carbonate or the Sulfite. These two chemicals in solution remain clear or water white but cloudy for their entire lives.

    PE
     
  14. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    Why al the fuss? Are the jars worth that much?
     
  15. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    apparently, because I can't find any for sale
     
  16. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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