Hi, I'm back. Took a long break and here I am again. I've decided to go with a lot of flow and look into ascorbic acid developers. Seems to have the results I've been looking for down other, less productive roads. I've not tried Xtol because of the 5 liter thing, times dilution, just unappealing. Closer to my interest is the PC-Glycol and PC TEA work started by Patrick Gainer. Especially the former so that I could twiddle with accelerators. I'd not bought either glycol or TEA because I wasn't sure I wanted to spend the money (especially for shipping liquid). So I recently checked out my Prestone Extended Life Anti-Freeze. Whaddya know, the chemicals I recall being in there decades ago are gone: "Silicate, phosphate, borate, and nitrite free." Whoopee! It is ethylen glycol, diethylene glycol, sodium 2-ethyl hexanoate, and neodecanoate. I presume the latter two are the corrosion inhibitors and they don't sound very photographically active. As is known, the phenidone and ascorbic acid readily dissolved in the hot glycol. A further experiment with a new batch of the glycol showed that sodium sulfite does not dissolve. Oh well, I was trying to emulate Xtol in that matter. I guess it will have to be added separately. Then I wondered about the sodium metaborate/Kodalk/Balanced Alkali. It went into solution like sugar in water. I put 1/4 tsp in 100ml of glycol, which is about 1.2 grams. I then diluted it 1:9 and got a pH of 9.1. I doubled the water and the pH is 8.6. Doubling again to 400ml, down to 8.2. Very effective buffering. Obviously one can alter the amount of metaborate to meet a target pH in dilution. So is there a reason to prefer TEA over metaborate? Does TEA offer any buffering action? Metaborate sure doesn't smell bad as many posters frequently remind us. What say you?