I tried a few pyrimidine (vitamin B) derivatives that worked well but too expensive for routine processing solutions. The ones that worked best were amino substituted at 2- and 4-positions. Those substituted only at the 2-position was ok as a developer additive but weak. Substitution at 4-position could be -OH. Incidentally, disubstituted pyrimidine was a decent developing agent. It would've made a decent press if I sold a developer using vitamins B and C as the developing agents, even at a price no one could afford, and hype it as "better than amidol and finer than glycin" and more exciting than Eikonogen or crap like that. People always like that kind of stuff.
I just checked. 2,4,6-triaminopyrimidine is commercially available for about $60 for 25g. This is a decent developing agent. You can dissolve a few grams of this with carbonate and make a slow working developer. A vitamin B developer.
I also tried imidazoles. They were more useful as a way to modify image tone and color than fine grain, though.
I used diethanolamine and it is okay in small quantities (a couple of grams per liter of working solution) but I wouldnít use too much. Ethanolamine (monoethanolamine) - I didnít like much. Same kind of problems as ammonium salts though less severe.
I did test a fair number of amines, because they could triple duty - as a pH buffer, chelator, and gentle silver complexing agent. I always had to blend two or more of them, because the one thatís best as the pH buffer for a target pH does not perform well for the other two functions. Some of these amines could have another duty of chelating calcium/magnesium from tap water. Ok, this is too much of my proprietary information.
Just in case someone tries to get ahead of me and get patent on this... because these agents are not listed in the prior art, Iíll also say this... the substitution on the nitrogen may be not limited to methyl group but it can be larger group, ethyl, etc. It is just that methyl version is cheaper and easier to get (and less smelly).
You try once and youíll know. Soaking in spent developer for another 5 minutes and then soak again in tap water and take a coffee break. Youíll get nice clean neg. Bostonís tap water has pH of 9.2 but I think a bit of sulfite helps this process.If typical development is 7 min and fixing is 7 min, that's 14 min in an alkaline sulfite solution. Is that not enough to remove those dyes? Anyway, this is a clever idea.
See and discuss the rest of the stuff on the new thread I started.