Glass versus Plastic containers for liquid concentrates

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by PeterB, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. PeterB

    PeterB Subscriber

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    I have recently purchased enough AGFA chemistry to last me at least 10 years at my current rate of consumption. They all came in plastic bottles (HDPE). Other postings have mentioned the idea of transferring the liquids to amber glass bottles and then sealing out the air with a squirt of protectan. I really only want to do this if someone can give me a good reason to. For example, does plastic allow oxygen to pass? As it is I will already have them in a small refrigerator (cold and no light).

    FWIW, the products I purchased are Rodinal (yeah I know it lasts forever - but in a plastic bottle - they used to come in glass), Neutol Plus and Sistan.

    So is there any disadvantage to keeping my liquid chemical concentrates in their original plastic containers?

    regards
    Peter
     
  2. TheDigitalMonster

    TheDigitalMonster Member

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    Rodinal in glass will last longer than rodinal in plastic, due to air permeation.

    However, as I understand it, Rodinal in general has an obscenely long shelf life, even with oxygen exposure. It will change colors with time, but this does not effect the effectiveness of the rodinal noticeably. I've read about people using 5 year old bottles of the stuff before. One of my friends has an open bottle from over 10 years ago that he used recently in a pinch.
     
  3. TheDigitalMonster

    TheDigitalMonster Member

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    Did not see ur rodinal comment initially.

    I'd use glass just b/c of the fact that you're planning for longevity. If you were going to use the chems immediately, no switching would be silly. If you want it to last a decade, I'd use glass.

    Edit: I would rely on the effectiveness of the air removal using the protectan to dictate whether to transfer them.
     
  4. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    TheDigitalMonster has repeated what I've heard about the effectiveness of plastic and glass. FWIW, Ryuji Suzuki has a Web page about the effectiveness of various types of plastic bottles, but he doesn't say much about the glass vs. plastic issue on that page.

    I'd reconsider storing the chemistry in a refrigerator. I don't know about Rodinal or Neutol Plus specifically, but a lot of developers have ingredients that will fall out of suspension below a certain temperature and that may be difficult to redissolve. Thus, refrigerating developers is generally not recommended.

    Finally, although Rodinal has a legendary shelf life, I don't know about Neutol Plus. It's a phenidone/vitamin C (PC) developer, like XTOL, and most such developers have a tendency to go bad unexpectedly. Thus, unless somebody has information to the contrary, I'd assume that the Neutol Plus will not last ten years.
     
  5. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I go with glass and fill up the space with glass marbles. Some plastics may be good, but with glass you know what you're getting. Protectan is good, but marbles are re-usable.
     
  6. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Glass with marbles and refrigerate if you have a seperate refrigerator for paper & chemicals. I would be very cautious about storing chemical with the family's food. Label your bottles with CARE. Get an MSDS for these chemicals and store for reference.

    One negative comment regarding glass: It breaks and plastic does not.
     
  7. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Make sure and check the bottle lables for recommended storage temps, I know some chems will not store well in a refrigerator and could cause them to go bad, most lables show a recommend range of storage temps.

    Dave
     
  8. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    There are a couple of problems with both plastic and glass. The most obvious is that glass is fragile. Ordinary glass is also slightly soluble in strong bases, but I haven't heard of any photographic problems due to this. Polyethylene bottles are gas permeable, and oxygen from the are gets in to spoil developers, even when the bottle is tightly capped. Hight density polyethylene is a bit better in this respect than the common low density polyethyene bottles. Polyproylene seems to be a quite a bit better. My favorite container for photographic solutions is recycled soda pop bottles. The plastic used for these is impermeable to gasses, and they come with a cap that makes a good seal. They are also very cheap, and they come in all the required sizes.
     
  9. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    This seems to concur with my limited experience... I have had ID-11 stock in full 2 litre fizzy drink bottles for well over a year with no colour change or apparent loss of vigour whatsoever. I keep them in a cupboard which keeps the light away, though I suppose blackboard paint might do a good job otherwise...

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  10. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    The quality will be greater if the large supply you got is shared with others and used in a normal manner. I knew some people who bought a lot of meat and had to buy three freezers to store it at home. After a couple of years the meat went bad and they had to dig a big hole in their back yard to get rid of it.
    My aunt got a big amount of sugar in the war years under rationing and thought it would go bad and added water to make a kind of syrup that she thought would last longer. It became useless.

    You have to look at why people hoard in the first place. I myself have bricks and bricks of 120 Panatomic-x and boxes and boxes of Super-xx film. I don't even use it now and wonder why I bought so much. I really need to through it all out. The new films are better because they are fresh. I have a case of Rodinal in the large bottles, I'm dumping them too. No need to buy such large quantities for what might be. I recently got rid of a lot of paper, Kodabromide and some of the older Oriental in large sizes. I contact print and use a completely different method.
     
  11. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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  12. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    I'd be happy to to take the film off your hands if you are seriously going to throw it out. I don't care what format it is, I use them all. I'll pay for postage. Shall I PM you my address? (I'm serious)
     
  13. PeterB

    PeterB Subscriber

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    Hi Curt,

    I purchased 2 bottles of Rodinal and 1 bottle of Sistan. By no means a large supply. I predicted this would suit my needs over the next 10 years. I also don't exclusively use AGFA chemistry.
    I also purchased 9 bottles of Neutol Plus because there is no other commercially available paper developer to replace it. After 10 years if my methods to optimise its freshness don't work, then I will begin to notice a drop off in developer activity and I assume I will simply get fewer prints per bottle. At least this gives me time to work out how to mix up something like it myself - since I'm not a chemist and don't like my chances of getting a solution (pun intended) straight away.
    I know of no other people in Australia on APUG or otherwise who use Neutol Plus, so it's entirely likely that my buying up the last of a retailer's stocks actually saved the Neutol Plus from being written off in a bargain bin just before it expires anyway and would then be of little use. It definitely doesn't share the same popularity as Rodinal.

    There must be thousands of bottles of chemistry simply sitting on store shelves 'going off', do you petition to the retailers and producers to be smarter about how they distribute and market it so that it doesn't go to waste?

    regards
    Peter
     
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  15. laz

    laz Member

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    I'd go even further and fairly scream Don't do it at all!
     
  16. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    If it's like XTOL (another PC developer) in its failure mode, it could just completely and suddenly fail to work.

    What is it you find so special about Neutol Plus? Perhaps somebody could offer a suggestion for an alternative. If you simply like PC developers, check out Ryuji Suzuki's DS-14, which is a mix-it-yourself PC developer.
     
  17. PeterB

    PeterB Subscriber

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    Possible, although purely speculative. Surely there would be reports to date since this developer has been in use for more than a couple of years.

    Yes, DS-14 would be a good replacement. The only problem is that I'd rather not start mixing things for myself unless I am forced to. Chemistry is not my forte, and I'd rather spend what little spare time I have on improving my other skills in photorgaphy.

    regards
    Peter
     
  18. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    I havent read the replies yet, but I will tell you this: I hadnt used my darkroom in a few years. I recently went in and picked up a bottle of Agfa Neutol that I had used a small amount of several years ago, squeezed the air out, and resealed. Well the bottle was empty, having drained out through an area near the base that had slightly creased and weakened when I squeezed it. So be careful, and dont do as I did. I have an unabused plastic bottle full of Rodinal that is even older, and of course its fine (though I dont know about the contents yet).
     
  19. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    It's true that this is speculative; I just wanted to alert you to the possibility, as this seems to be a common theme with PC developers. (I've heard that Paterson's FX-50 can fail suddenly, too.) If you hadn't already gone out and bought your stock, I'd suggest researching it first. As it is, I guess that if your paper developer fails suddenly, it's at least not as bad as having a film developer fail suddenly.

    So is it the PC composition that appeals to you, or something else? If something else, as I said, perhaps somebody can suggest an alternative. If it's just the PC composition, I don't know of any other commercial PC paper developers.
     
  20. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    I know of only one developer that recommends increasing storage life by placing it in the refrigerator. That developer is Ethol TEC.

    As a preservation method I would not recommend storing any other developer, particularly a highly concentrated one such as Rodinal, in the refrigerator. It is highly likely that certain constituents will crystallize out and be very difficult to redissolve.
     
  21. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    Curt You could throw some XX up here towards renton.
     
  22. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    My Spur Nano-Speed and Imagespeed developers seem fine after a six months in the fridge. No precipitates that I can see. But they are as yet unopened.
     
  23. agGNOME

    agGNOME Member

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    PETER,
    Though I preferred Agfa Neutol Plus, you may want to try the commercially available Edwal Platimnum II paper developer. Edwal P II does not contain metol, comes in liquid, and is a neutral developer.
     
  24. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    Check the storage temps, Ilford specifically says not to store fixer concentrate below 4C.
     
  25. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    I have the impression from Spur's literature that these developers have a low concentration of developing agents and other ingredients, so you can get away with refrigerating them.
     
  26. Terrance Hounsell

    Terrance Hounsell Member

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