Obtaining small quantities of KBr in UK ... ?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by pdeeh, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    In order to pursue trying Caffenol development (35mm) I'm trying to obtain small (c.100g) quantities of KBr at a "sensible" price, but am finding it frustrating.

    While a couple of suppliers (Silverprint & Process Supplies) are able to supply, the shipping cost quadruples or even quintuples the cost of the chemical itself (not the supplier's fault - it can't be sent by Royal Mail as it is a "prohibited substance", so has to go by courier).

    One answer might be to "top up" the order with other supplies, thereby making the marginal cost of the carriage tolerable, but my throughput of film is so small at the moment (3 or 4 rolls a month) that I already have as much other equipment/film/whatever as I need for the time being.

    Anyone got any bright ideas?
     
  2. K-G

    K-G Subscriber

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    Take a day off , go to London , visit Silverprint and enjoy the town. It will certainly be more expensive but what a day you can have !

    Karl-Gustaf
     
  3. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    thanks! yes - very good, lateral thinking ...
     
  4. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Having checked with Royal Mail, KBr in small quantities is perfectly acceptable to send as long as it is well packed. Some of the other chemicals that we might use are on the "prohibited substance" list - Dichromates and (surprisingly) Potassium Ferricyanide are two examples of NO.

    I'm going to try to get a copy of the list, but apparently, it is quite a large tome.
     
  5. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    Many thanks to paul_c5x4 for helping sort this out
     
  6. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    They see the 'cyanide' and go no further. Marzipan has more active cyanide in it. Call it 'Prussian Yellow', instead.

    P. Bromide is still in the pharmacopoeia - your doctor can maybe get you some on the national health.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2012
  7. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I like the idea of visiting London - or perhaps a friend or relative will go to London and would be willing to get the chemical for you. (Alternatively, Silverprint can probably courier it somewhere within London pretty cheaply, so that your assistant doesn't have to go to Southwark to get it.)

    Alternatively, can you top up your order with other bulk chemicals with long shelf lives that you can use up eventually? Your volume of film is irrelevant as long as you get value out of the purchase eventually.
     
  8. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    This is a perfect example of bureaucrats making regulations without the input of chemists and toxicologists. A bureaucracy loves to make regulations whether it is in the UK or elsewhere. God knows we have a superfluity of them in the US.
     
  9. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Also, if you are making searches only for Potassium Bromide, you can widen your search to include Sodium Bromide (NaBr). It is exactly identical in 99.99% of photographic uses, just at a bit different weight to match the molar mass of KBr.
     
  10. Simonh82

    Simonh82 Member

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  11. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    that seller has indeed got reasonable postage, but of course the problem is that s/he charges £8.69 for 100g KBr, making the total the same as (actually, a bit more than) Silverprint or Process Supplies,... Silverprint/PS supply at a more reasonable £2.70-ish but feel obliged to charge four or five times that for carriage, perhaps because they misunderstand or have been misinformed about RM restrictions, as paul_c5x4 has ascertained.
     
  12. inlarry

    inlarry Member

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    I know we have the same issue here in the US with many chemicals. A lot of suppliers, usually the only ones with it in stock, refuse to ship and label as only available in-store on their sites, which is ridiculous since they don't even use postal shipping.

    An ORM-D Label and problem solved, but either they don't know this, or just don't want to sell product.