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  1. #1
    Swellastic's Avatar
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    Catalisotype chemicals

    Hello there. Please give me pardon if I seem ignorant by posting thia, but I am currently at a bit of a loss and thought I might inquire upon some of the sharp minds in the APUG forums

    So, I have been doing some research into various alternative processes During the last half year - being first enamoured by the Niépceotype process developed in the 1800's by Claude Félix Abel Niépce de Saint-Victor. However, it is a very labourious process which required equipment that I currently do not have at hand - which means that I have shelved it for the time being. However, another very interesting process that i have been researching is the Catalisotype - a process developed by one Dr. Thomas Woods in the mid 1800's, where a sheet of paper is coated with a syrup of iron iodide mixed with a solution of silver nitrate. After being exposed in the camera the image develops spontaneously when left in the dark and then later only needs to be fixed, either with potassium bromide or potassium iodide.

    Now, most of these chemicals I can manage to fetch from various sources (Photographer's Formulary, Artcraft Chemicals and so on), but the syrup of iron iodide I most likely have to make myself. The recipe for this solution is fairly simple:

    · Iron filings=19g
    · Iodine=58g
    · Hypophosphoric acid=10ml
    · Purified water=125ml
    · Syrup simplex q.s to make 1000ml

    Syrup simplex is simply sugared water, two and a half pounds of sugar to a pint of water. I am not completely sure whether or not it is necessary for the process, but I will include it just to be safe (I think it is mainly acts as a sweetener for those who are to ingest the Iron iodide syrup as it apparently also has applications as a hematonic and antiseptic from what I have read). However, I have no idea where I can get Hypophosphoric acid. There seems to be very little on the web that might seem to point me in the right direction.. I merely lack a source for this one chemical to finish my necessary kit for starting to make catalisotypes, and as I would very much like to try out this process it is somewhat frustrating to be stuck so close to my goal after so much intensive research. Does anyone know where I might be able to find this acid? I would be tremedously grateful for any help

    PS:
    There is also one part of the main catalisotype recipe text that confuses me slightly. It adresses the kind of paper used for the process:

    "Let well-glazed paper (I prefer that called wove post) be steeped in water to which hydrochloric acid has been added in the proportion of two drops to three ounces. When well wet, let it be washed over with a mixture of syrup of iodide of iron half a drachm, water two drachms and a half, tincture of iodine one drop"


    What does the good doctor mean by "well-glazed paper" and "wove post"? Pardon if I seem ignorant in my inquiry, but i decided to ask in order to try and clear up some confusion.

    AI would be very grateful for any possible assistance in this endeavour..
    Last edited by Swellastic; 04-11-2012 at 10:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    I hope someone with more knowledge posts too, but it appears hypophosphorous acid (or phosphinic acid) "can reduce elemental iodine to form hydroiodic acid, which is a reagent effective for reducing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to methamphetamine."

    Since it can be used to make meth, finding it will be quite difficult I suspect.

    As for well-glazed paper, I wonder if that means well-sized paper?

    edit: According to Robert Hunt A Manual of Photography (google books), which I think is the same book where your quote comes from, he calls wove post a "well-glazed letter paper".
    Last edited by holmburgers; 04-11-2012 at 01:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    holmburgers has a point about availability of hypophosphorous acid (H3PO2), but the text calls for hypophosphoric acid (H4P2O6).

    Also, it appears as if "syrup of iodide of iron" is iron (II) iodide (ferrous iodide). Perhaps it might be easier to simply source ferrous iodide directly?

    --Greg

  4. #4
    Swellastic's Avatar
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    Well, I thought much in the same direction, but it seems that it is somewhat difficult to obtain ferrous iodide. Neither Artcraft Chemicals nor Photographer's Formulary seems to hold it. Are there any other potential sources? Or would I have to make the syrup myself as earlier described and try to find somehwere to get hypophosphoric acid?
    Last edited by Swellastic; 04-12-2012 at 04:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    eclarke's Avatar
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    I have a friend who buys a lot from Artcraft. He says one should call, talk to Mike, and ask for it. He has access to all the big cemical suppliers. It looks like it can only be bought as a 40-50% solution..EC

  6. #6
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmikol View Post
    holmburgers has a point about availability of hypophosphorous acid (H3PO2), but the text calls for hypophosphoric acid (H4P2O6).
    --Greg
    *slaps palm to forehead*

    Can we turn this into a "learning opportunity"?? What does the different suffix mean?

  7. #7

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    First off...I am not a chemistry expert, but...

    Broadly speaking, the -ous and -ic suffixes denote different valences (available electrons for bonding) of an atom or slightly different anion groups. The -ous suffix describes the lower-valence ion, and the -ic suffix, the higher-valence ion. But its different for different atoms, e.g. for copper it's +1 and +2, for iron +2 and +3...

    So when you see compounds such as ferric somethingorother and ferrous somethingorother, they're different compounds. They're bonded differently, because iron is contributing 2 (ferrous) or 3 (ferric) electrons. Sometimes, as in my previous post, they're written as iron (II) and iron (III).

    Another example of similar-sounding names but different compounds are nitric oxide (NO), sometimes used in the treatment of some cardiac conditions, and nitrous oxide (N2O), laughing gas.

    That's the complete extent of my knowledge of chemical nomenclature. Hope I didn't get anything wrong.

    --Greg

  8. #8
    Swellastic's Avatar
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    Well, a 40-50% solution in good enough for me. I would just have to increase the amount of ferrous iodide used. However, is ferrous iodide a restricted chemical by any chance? I live abroad, and I know certain chemicals are not shipped outside the United States. Could I potentially face any issues?

    Also gmikol, thank you for than in-depth description. It was quite educational =)

  9. #9
    Swellastic's Avatar
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    Oops, I meant reduce. I need to reduce the percentage of the solution of the iron iodide. This gladly saves me some chemistry, which is one of the aspects i find appealing to the catalisotype. it is fairly conservative in terms of chemistry and also quite light sensitive, at last in respect to many other alternative processes.

  10. #10
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmikol View Post
    First off...I am not a chemistry expert, but...
    Greg, I meant to thank you for posting this explanation. So, a belated thanks!



 

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