Commercial Coffenol manufacturer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by cmo, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. cmo

    cmo Member

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    That's not a joke.

    We all heard about that developer made of coffee and soda, many tried it, and the results with this homebrew (!) are not bad.

    I just wonder why there is a company that makes a sophisticated commercial product based on Caffenol?

    Such a provider might use well-controlled, high-quality chemistry, let's say pure caffeine acid, soda, pure ascorbic acid, maybe some addons that make the process more reliable and exploit the capabilities of this only environmentally friendly "stain" developer.
     
  2. Lowell Huff

    Lowell Huff Inactive

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    It can be done. How much would you be willing to buy? Is there enough demand for this type of product to make it economical to manufacture?
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The caffeine doesn't seem to be a developing agent, but rather things like catechol that occur naturally in coffee and other plant substances. Purify those ingredients and you might as well just use one of the standard pyro developers.
     
  4. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Folgers Instant coffee crystals (and its the Caffeic acid - not Caffeine).

    Pure ascorbic acid (I get mine from Trader Joe's grocery stores)

    Monohydrated Sodium carbonate (I get mine from The Chemistry Store)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2008
  5. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Isn't adding ascorbic acid cheating?

    By the way, when is someone going to start touting the developing benefits of Emergen-C-ol?
     
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Isn't adding ascorbic acid cheating? No! Not at all!

    But, adding Sodium Hydroxide and Muriatic Acid would be cheating (and pretty fizzy) as well!
     
  7. cmo

    cmo Member

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    There is no cheating except with a digital camera :smile: With Muriatic Acid enlarging might become difficult - dodging might be done, but the developer already burnt the negative...

    Adding other chemicals to combine their special benefits is okay for me, as long as the developer produces better results.

    David, you are right, but as I said in the beginning, one of the interesting aspects of "Java" developers is that they are not toxic, and dumping used devloper into the sink is not a problem. With Pyro developers this is very different: they are pretty toxic, and at least here in Europe it is off limits handling it like a harmless fluid.
     
  8. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    There'd possibly be problems with the variability of the coffee beans/instant coffee (as it probably varies in whatever compounds season to season like most plant materials) and people expect reliable results from a storebought developer, as opposed to them mucking about with stuff at home. Testing and the like would make the price go up which would put off some people. And the other appeal of caffenol is that you can make it from stuff bought at the grocery store, you don't need to go to a photographic supply place to get it.
     
  9. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Is it really that popular? I've seen some samples, and at some point I'd like to try it myself (not looking forward to the supposed smell of "burnt bacon grease", though), but it doesn't get a lot of discussion as people's primary developer.
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Fairly popular with folks who develop document films (or Tech Pan) to pictorial contrast levels.
     
  11. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    When you combine Muriatic Acid (AKA Hydrochloric Acid) with Sodium Hydroxide you end up with Sodium Chloride, water, etc., etc. (Kinda like Microdol-X).

    And see the current MSDS for Edwal FG-7.
     
  12. cmo

    cmo Member

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    My assumption: it might become very popular if it were an improved, reliable, off-the-shelf product.

    Simply because it is staining, but not toxic, and the results I have seen so far from Nescafé-and-Folgers homebrew stuff are quite impressive for such a simple recipe. With some experimenting and good scientific knowledge of photo chemicals it might become an excellent developer.
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i use caffenol C all the time,
    it works well for my fun in the darkroom ...
    i just make sure to get gut rot instant coffee.
    the vit. c is the expensive stuff ..
    i get mine at whole paycheck,
    since we don't have a trader joe's around here

    i do cheat a little bit ... sometimes i add some
    spent print developer or some straight print developer
    to boost the contrast a tiny bit. i usually add about "a splash"
    not sure exactly what that measure is exactly, seeing
    my coffee is " a big dump",
    laundry det. is "a medium dump" and
    vit c is "a little dump"

    (i stopped using true "international measurements" a while back )

    YMMV

    john
     
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  15. Brian Bullen

    Brian Bullen Member

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    John, for ascorbic acid try this place, http://store.allhealthtrends.com/pgi-customlistproducts?Ascorbic Acid,2,157,=,AA, relatively cheap and works well in my Caff+C recipe. I'm much more precise in measuring though, I use the pour and count method. Very precise.:D
     
  16. cahayapemburu

    cahayapemburu Member

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    What does this developer do that a real developer couldn't do better?
     
  17. tac

    tac Member

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    stink?
     
  18. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Caffeic acid is a close cousin of catechol
    So a pyro developer (commercial) will work more or less the same

    Adding vitC increases the activity/shadow detail and lowers the stain
    it if is cheating... so what?

    I really think commercial versions would be no fun

     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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  20. Brian Bullen

    Brian Bullen Member

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    No problem John.
    I'm not sure how much it is at "whole paycheck" but I'd guess twice the price.:rolleyes:
     
  21. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Define Real Developer, Please!

    Define Real Developer, Please!
     
  22. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It can be made from stuff available at the grocery store.
     
  23. cahayapemburu

    cahayapemburu Member

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    Define "real developer": One in which the actual developing agent is identified and quantified, for starters, and one in which there are no ingredients that do not contribute to the working properties of the developer. If this developer is only distinguished by its over the counter ingredients, I don't see the point in commercial production.
     
  24. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    OK, Caffenol (aka Folgerol) meets all of the requirements of your definition.

    I see no point in the commercial production of Caffenol.

    Pyrocat-HD, Moersch Tannol, PMK,WD2D, 510-PYR0, Prescysol, DiXactol, etc. are examples of commercially available staining and tanning developers.
     
  25. cahayapemburu

    cahayapemburu Member

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    I don't think Caffenol meets my definition. What is the actual developing agent, how much of it is contained in a given quantity of coffee, and how do you know? What is the chemical composition of coffee, and how do its components contribute to the working properties of a developer made with it? If these things are known with any certainty, I've never seen a published description. I understand the novelty of making a working developer from household ingredients, but I also understand the limitations of that approach, and frankly don't understand the persistence of the attraction beyond its novelty. Any and all of the developers listed at the bottom of your message are more effective and more reliable, and most are published formulae. Just calling a spade a spade.
     
  26. Brian Bullen

    Brian Bullen Member

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    Have you read this? http://www.rit.edu/~andpph/text-coffee.html