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  1. #1
    PeterB's Avatar
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    Glass versus Plastic containers for liquid concentrates

    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. #2

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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.
    .·:TDM:·.

  3. #3

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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. #4

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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. #5

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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. #6

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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.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  7. #7
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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. #8

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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. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nworth
    <snip> ... 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.
    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. #10
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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.

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