Homemade Sodium Acetate

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Andrew O'Neill, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Okay. I am certainly no chemist. Was looking at this website devoted to producing HHO gas (hydrogen gas from water) to supplement petrol in your car. I stumbled across a clip showing a guy mixing up a solution of what he called sodium acetate, which is used to prevent the water in his hydrogen chamber from freezing during winter...he mixed plain old white vinegar and baking soda.
    I thought I'd mix some up with a sprinkle of tartaric acid ( I read somewhere that tartaric acid helps keep highlights from muddying) and develop a kallitype print (2 tblspns baking soda, 250ml vinegar, half tspn tartaric acid, distilled water to make 1 litre...I'm sure I could have used tap water, oh well). Adding vinegar to the baking soda makes for a fine display of sizzling which subsides in about a minute or so. I mixed in a ventilated area but I really don't think it's that toxic...but better to be safe than sorry. With the addition of tartaric acid there was some more sizzle but not as much. It all mixed to a nice clear solution.
    The print is blacky browny egg planty. Whites are really nice and clean (cleared in citric acid). I used Rising Stonehenge paper.
    I think next time I'll try it with double the amount of baking soda and slightly less tartaric acid to see if that affects print colour.
    So does baking soda and vinegar when mixed together become sodium acetate?
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes. What sizzles off is carbon dioxide.
     
  3. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    has other uses - as a buffered stop bath

    I mix stochimetric quantities of sodium carbonate hydrate ( ie washing soda) with sodium hydroxide 40% aqueous when I need sodium acetate to make buffered stop baths for a home brew E-6 chemistry set. Yes, theres are lots of carbon dioxide bubbles.
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Mike - you need to put some acetic acid in that mix too for it to form sodium acetate...
     
  5. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    sorry - didn't explian all

    Ole - I didn't mean to try to say all the bits that went into the buffered stop bath. Yes, acetic is definitely in there;, the sod acetate as I understand it is the buffering agent, resisting pH swings. .

    In fact it is one of the few places that I use an acid stop for film these days. I have recently been doing a fair bit with PMK, which I understand works best with a water stop, and the habit spread to otehr flm developers as well.

    It still goes into the stop when I am printing FB, particualrly DW and heavier papers.

    I have what I beleive is a lifetime supply. In dec 06 I was in NYC, and stopped into B&H, and bought 3.8l of glacial grade. Mostly these days it gets diluted out to make up vinegar for pickling etc. The jug still has lots in it though.
     
  6. karavelov

    karavelov Member

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    I was making soduim citrate for kallitype developer because it is not available here. I dissolve sodium carbonate in water and then I add citric acid slowly. It fusses - it is carbon dioxide that is emitted. I periodically check the pH and I stop adding acid when the solution has gone slightly acidic.

    The procedure is the same with sodium acetate. Use acetic acid instead of citric acid. I have not tried it because I have a local supply of sodium acetate.

    The best results I have obtained with hot potassium oxalate. I make it from pot.carbonate and oxalic acid. One of the problems I have encountered is that if there is excess of oxalic acid it breaks the sizing of some papers - Arches Platine for example. So I usually stop adding oxalic acid when the solution is slightly base and then I add citric acid to make it slightly acidic. I should try next time with tartaric acid.

    One of the reasons why I prefer pot.oxalate is because it gives one stop more speed than other developers. And less exposure - less bronzing in the darks. Another interesting thing is that the obtained speed for kallitype is the same as my mix for VDB - so I could mix them to control the contrast of the print. The image color is indistinguishable for my eye.

    Best regards
    luben
     
  7. karavelov

    karavelov Member

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    Ops, I tried - Potassium Oxalate does not mix well with tartaric acid - a precipitate is formed.
     
  8. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Karavelov, thanks for the tip on making sodium citrate...that's what I usually use as a kallitype developer. The colour of sodium acetate developer is brown but leans slightly towards egg plant.
     
  9. karavelov

    karavelov Member

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    The first image attached is an example of the color I get with Ferric Oxalate developer at 60C. The paper is Arches Aquarelle HP. On Arches Platine I usually get more neutral tone.

    I have also used Sodium Acetate developper but it gives me quite neutral tone (the image with the roses).

    Sodium citrate developper gives quite interesting color but it producess a lot of bronzing for me that I could not control (the third image).
     

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  10. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    That actually should read "the colour of the print leans slightly toward egg plant after development in the homemade sodium acetate developer...
     
  11. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    Here is how I make Sodium Acetate for Kallitypes:

    60ml glacial acetic acid in 600ml water
    Slowly add 84g sodium bicarbonate
    Add water to 775ml

    Add 2.5g tartaric acid and some dichromate.