Store "XTOL" Powders?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by JeffD, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. JeffD

    JeffD Member

    Messages:
    308
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I obtained some XTOL a while back (to make 5 liters, I believe), and thought I would be keen and measure out 1/5th of each of the two powder packets, and make just a liter of solution. My thought was, I could store the remaining chemical in two plastic air tight plastic containers. Well, it has been maybe 6 months, and the chemical in one container has become like a "cake", and maybe even a bit brown tinged in color. I'm sure it's no good. Sigh.

    My question, is there a way to store these two components, once the original foil packets are opened? I am a low volume user, and making all the stock solution, and then letting it sit on the shelf, in bottles, would result in waste as well, at the rate I use it.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Many unused stock solutions will last a long time in brown glass bottles, filled to the very top, and kept at a constant temperature in a dark place. Recently I found a six year old pint of D23 stock back under my sink. It was clear, tested ok, and worked fine. It's not supposed to happen--but it did.

    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
     
  3. JeffD

    JeffD Member

    Messages:
    308
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format

    Yeah, but, to be honest, I only have a special application that I need XTOL for, and I would probably only use a couple of liters a year. In stock solution, in tightly capped full bottles, I think this developer is only supposed to last a year, maybe a little more some have said.

    I hoped that by mixing only what I need, I could preserve the chemicals and mix more solution later.

    My guess is the chemicals must be extremely unstable once the packages are opened. I don't even know if it is possible to seal that chemical up to save it for mixing later, once you've opened the foil pouch.

    My part "A" powder, still in it's sealed box I placed it in, is hard like a slightly brown cookie!
     
  4. hal9000

    hal9000 Member

    Messages:
    227
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Location:
    Berlin, Germ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I bought some 25L packages and then split them up into 1L portions. The important thing is to keep moisture away from part A, it absorbs moisture from the air and gets all caked up. I wrapped the portions tightly in double plastic bags and taped them closed. I just cut them open when I want to mix up some and it has worked fine for me.
     
  5. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

    Messages:
    2,144
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I quit using XTOL because I could not keep it a reasonable time even in the original package.
     
  6. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

    Messages:
    779
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ...that's weird. i've just rolled the pack up and put an elastic around it and every 3 months dip into it to make 1.5 with no issues. i would imagine that an air tight bag would do the trick. however, the xtol i'm referring to had two large glossy-type bags of solution a and b. the older matt-like bags have the really small bag of solution a and big bag of solution b. which one are you referring to?
     
  7. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    How are you sure that the dry chemicals are homogeneous enough to allow mixing only part? Each packet has several chemicals.

    You might consider mixing Mytol from scratch.
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You can avoid these storage problems by switching from XTOL to Instant Mytol (I prefer the concentrated organic solution version).

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum223/33880-instant-mytol.html
     
  9. richard ide

    richard ide Member

    Messages:
    1,227
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Location:
    Wellington C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have had a two part developer in plastic bags (as supplied by maker) for 25 years. One component is slowly oxidizing and also has a slight brown tint. It still works fine although it is a universal developer which I only use for paper.
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yours is probably an MQ developer - with no Ascorbate or ascorbic acid in either packet.
     
  11. JeffD

    JeffD Member

    Messages:
    308
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Thanks everyone. Hal9000's post gives me hope that storing the part "A" powerder is possible. I was using a very small "tupperwear" box, with a very tight fitting lid, that appeared very air tight. I am not sure how moisture got in.

    I guess I'll try to find a better way to ensure that the stored chemical is better sealed.
     
  12. glbeas

    glbeas Member

    Messages:
    3,307
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Location:
    Roswell, Ga.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'n case you haven't noticed theres a lotta water in the air here in Atlanta, especially the summertime!:smile:
    Even a small container like Tupperware will have enough water in the volume of air to mess with a hygroscopic chemical. Try a small ziplock bag with the chemical rolled up to push the air out, place that in the Tupperware with a silica dessicant pack and you will have as much protection as a person can give it on the cheap.
    BTW it's getting about time to plan some Apug outings for the Southeast region. Seen any good places lately?
     
  13. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    What about storing the resealed powder in the freezer? If the water is frozen will it still reap the havoc?
     
  14. glbeas

    glbeas Member

    Messages:
    3,307
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Location:
    Roswell, Ga.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Might make it worse, as the air cools it saturates and water condenses out of it, who knows where it goes from there. A cool environment is more favorable for chemical storage though. You just need to be sure the air is dry or expelled when storing it in the fridge. Then you need to let it warm thoroughly before opening, same precautions as for film. I would only go to such trouble if I were storing for very long term, if at all.
     
  15. JeffD

    JeffD Member

    Messages:
    308
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I think I am leaning toward these nalgene bottles. The material is supposed to be very good at not being porous to external air.

    http://www.amazon.com/Nalgene-Squar...e=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1205094265&sr=8-3


    Good point about a dessicant and plastic wrap. I may get a slightly larger bottles than I need, and wrap, then place in the bottles.

    Game for some shooting somewhere, Gary... what are you in the mood for? More waterfalls, or something different?
     
  16. glbeas

    glbeas Member

    Messages:
    3,307
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Location:
    Roswell, Ga.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I put a post in the regionals about going back to Sloss. I would love it if someone with the right connections could secure permission for a junkyard shoot or something similar. Someone in the SPS got one up several years ago and it was a lot of fun and turned out some very good abstracts.
    You could get some pretty good rock abstracts in karst gorges and steep cascades. I was taken to a place called Honey Hollow a long while back that had some fantastic erosional shapes to it but I have no idea how to find the place.
     
  17. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'd like to reiterate and expand upon "Gadget" Gainer's and Tom Hoskinson's points:


    If you're dead set on using real XTOL and mixing up partial batches, you might consider trying a vacuum sealer to store the powders. I use a Pump-n-Seal for storing liquid developers. It might just help preserve powders, too.

    Another option would be to mix the XTOL at twice the usual concentration -- that is, mix a 5-liter package to make 2.5 liters. I've heard that XTOL will just barely dissolve in that quantity of water, but I've never tried it myself. Doing it this way might help it to last longer.
     
  18. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,617
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Wes
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dear Jeff,

    At $10/year (at least at Calumet) mix up 5 liters in 1L bottles and toss what you don't use. If the special project is not worth tossing $6 worth of developer it's not worth doing.

    Neal Wydra
     
  19. jackc

    jackc Member

    Messages:
    28
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Put it in glycol?

    Gainer pointed out earlier that dividing the powder into smaller portions may not be a good idea in that all the chemical ingredients in either packets may not divide evenly. But if that's what you want to do, you might add some propylene glycol to each portion and store them in bottles. Gainer mentioned that the chemicals in XTOL won't dissolve in glycol, but at least the glycol will keep the chemicals from moisture and air while adding no side effects to the developing properties. When you use it, just add water to make the right quantity of the solution. I would've tried this myself, except I doubt that you should divide powder in the first place. I like Ilford DDX. Too bad it does not come in a powder. Some say Microphen is close. But it looks very different to me. There's magic in DDX. No idea what it is.