Frozen Chemistry

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jeff Searust, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

    Messages:
    361
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    I have a darkroom in my garage, and while it rarely freezes where I am, It does get very cold, and on occasion will freeze. Does anyone know of any issues with chemistry exposed to temperature variations such as this. I would also wonder about the summer when the chemistry will be over 90 and have to be cooled for use.

    I wonder if I should keep the chemistry in the house and onlyu take it out to the darkroom for use.
     
  2. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've never had chems freeze, but everything I've read on these here forums says you should not do this. The componants may/will come out of solution and not go back in.
     
  3. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

    Messages:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Jim is exactly right. Also be aware that the freezing point of various chemicals is not always the same as the freezing point of water. For example, the freezing point of glacial acetic acid is 15 degrees (high 50s in the old reckoning).
     
  4. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

    Messages:
    2,248
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I have stored dektol in the freezer. It comes out of solution but when you warm it up and give it a stir it goes right back in. I also store my bottle of Glycin powder in the freezer.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,095
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's not advisable some crystallisation will take place and it can be a problem getting the solution to re-dissolve properly. You could use a very low powered heater to keep the temperature falling below freezing. Or as you suggest store the chemicals elsewhere during very cold spells.

    Keep your lenses in the house, at low temperatures moisture can creep inside and if the lenses are used without careful warming up you'll get condensation on the inner glass surfaces.

    Ian
     
  6. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Tufts Univer
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Color chemistry (E6) should not be frozen, according to Kodak. You could put them in a cabinet and use a space heater to keep it at 60.
     
  7. ZoneIII

    ZoneIII Member

    Messages:
    261
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    Illinois
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I froze my mixed E6 chemistry at the suggestion of someone in these forums who insisted that it was the way to go. Unfortunately, it ruined the chemistry and an entire batch of film. Never again!
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Who was it!
     
  9. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,649
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Freezing chemistry or allowing it to freeze is a bad idea. Not going back into solution properly is only one reason, but after one reason, why would anyone need more reasons.

    If playing in traffic will get you killed, that should be enough reason not to play in traffic. Of course taking you out of the gene pool could be a good reason for you to play in traffic.

    Steve
     
  10. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

    Messages:
    7,114
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    In a darkroo
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Research your chemicals to make sure. Some chemistry, upon freezing, will seperate and are not remixable.
     
  11. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,337
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Be careful with glass botttles containing solutions as they may shatter when the contents freeze.
     
  12. Rob Landry

    Rob Landry Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern Cana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Did you freeze the concentrates or the mixed working solutions? If the latter, it would not have "ruined" your chems. I've been doing this for years and have never experienced a single failure or ruined roll of film. I processed 4 rolls 3 weekends ago from frozen stock and all chems thawed perfectly with no precipitates. All solutions were clear (minus the Bleach and CD of course) with no evidence of any components failing to redissolve.

    As for your ruined chems, what was their physical appearance after thawing? Did they look different than freshly mixed chems? Did you process any film with that same batch before freezing? Some additional info would be appreciated.
     
  13. hrst

    hrst Member

    Messages:
    1,299
    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have found that dropping temperature extends the shelf life by reducing oxidation greatly.

    However, just to be 100% sure, I wouldn't recommend going below 10 deg.C. Even this should give a very nice effect in many cases, maybe doubling the shelf life compared to room temperature storage, or better.

    Personally, I store XTOL, C-41 and E6 solutions (not bleach, as it keeps perfectly at room temp) at 4 degC without any problems.

    My test earlier showed that XTOL stored at 4 deg.C in a partially filled bottle with a lot of air kept as well as carefully squeezed bottle at the room temp, while a partially filled bottle at the room temp was spoiled quickly. So, I'd conduct that displacing all the air and storing at reduced temperatures would give a very long shelf life. Just don't go too low --- it may work but do it by your own risk!
     
  14. thicktheo

    thicktheo Subscriber

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Location:
    Athens, Gree
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So... I put a (plastic) bottle of stock Microphen in the freezer, in order to get it cool fast (from 30c to usable 20), then I forgot about it and it spent six or seven hours in the freezer. When I remembered to take it out, it was totally frozen.

    ...and the question is, what happens now? Can I use that Microphen again? It's only been used 5 times and it's a shame to throw it away, but I (obviously) wouldn't want to risk destroying my films.
     
  15. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,963
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thaw it out, see if it's homogenous or not.
     
  16. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,337
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Do not refrigerate or freeze any photographic solutions unless the manufacturer says that it is OK. I know of only one and that is Ethol TEC. The manufacturer suggests that refrigeration will increase the product life.
     
  17. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

    Messages:
    2,040
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I remember seeing, a long time ago in a college lab store, a gallon glass bottle of glacial acetic acid which had shattered in a sudden cold snap over the Christmas hols, despite low heating being on.
    It's not the sort of stuff that you want to find running down walls and over the floor as it unfreezes again! :eek:
     
  18. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,337
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Many people are unaware that glacial acetic acid is also a fire hazard.
     
  19. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

    Messages:
    2,933
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Misissauaga
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The worst one for 'freezing' is TEA (Tri Etho Amine I think). It sets up below 20C. In the winter I store it on top of the hot air plenum outside my basement darkroom so it is ready to be poured.
     
  20. thicktheo

    thicktheo Subscriber

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Location:
    Athens, Gree
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It is homogenous. It looks like it did before I accidentally froze it.
     
  21. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,963
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Glacial acetic acid is pretty nasty stuff... I prefer handling chlorine gas and concentrated sulphuric acid any day. :/

    I should check on my bottle now that its 12c inside the house in unheated rooms.. though my bottle is also wrapped up and kept away from other things.