Kodak's Marketing Ploy - Kodalk

Discussion in 'Kodak' started by Dan Quinn, Oct 25, 2003.

  1. Dan Quinn

    Dan Quinn Guest

    Some time ago I said that there must be some other rational for using
    Kodalk, other than establishing and maintaining a ph that is.

    I should have seen it right away. Kodak has an All ACID methodology for
    B&W procesing. Period. Carbonates have no place in Kodak's "off the
    shelf" chemistry offerings.

    It occured to me that a blend of carbonate and bicarbonate could give
    wide ph control. I latter saw that Ryuji Suzuki is already using the
    method. He details the subject on his website.

    Mr. Omar refered me to a site where a MSDS on Kodalk points out that
    it is a blend of an anhydrate and a hydrate of metaborate.

    Kodak goes out of it's way to ensure that the B&W silver gelatin
    process remain acid. Take for example the above and the case of
    Rapid Selenium Toner. The toner contains thiosulfate. That is
    to ensure that if there ever be any ACID mixed with it, the
    deadly selenide gas not become air born but be absorbed.

    Many many years ago Kodak used carbonate in some formulas; ABC pyro
    for one. I don't think they have a one being offered to the public

    A high ph non-fizzing alkali was still needed, so Kodak invents
    Kodalk with a ph near that of carbonate. Quite a ploy. According
    to Kodak sodium metaborate is "similar" to Kodalk. A Mr.Russell
    patened a method of making metaborate using borax and lye. That
    may have been something just for us homebrewers. Mr. Omar, by
    the way, has developed an refined technique which looks very
    good to me. Dan
    Dan Quinn, Oct 25, 2003
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  2. Dan Quinn

    Jorge Omar Guest


    Just a note - my christian name is Jorge Omar, last name Oliveira...
    I've even changed my name for first/last in other sites since I was
    subscribed (by someone?) to an Arab group and other nicieties...

    On a more sound point, you may be right, but my personal feeling for using
    Kodalk/metaborate and not carbonate for film is that it's not just a matter
    of pH or fizzing, but has to do with borates hardening proprieties, so
    metaborate could (at least on theory) give finer grain due to less emulsion
    swelling at the same pH.

    BTW, did some new tests with the Diafine equivalent and metaborate mixed as
    I've posted and the negs look very promising. Will print this weekend.


    (Dan Quinn) wrote in
    Jorge Omar, Oct 25, 2003
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  3. Dan

    How about Dektol?
    Metaborate is used in Xtol and DK-50 (now discontinued)
    but not in D-76, T-Max, T-Max RS, Technidol, HC-110,
    Microdol-X. D-76 uses Borax, the others have organic
    Most other packaged film developers use alkalies other
    than carbonates. For one thing modern films do better with
    less active developers than are produced by carbonate plus
    other alkalies do not outgas in stop baths or fixers.
    What Kodalk (sodium metaborate) has to do with "acid
    processing" is beyond me. If you want examples of alkaline
    processing look at some color systems where acid is avoided
    because it would decolorize the dyes.
    What Harrold D. Russel patented was an economical method
    of making _dry_ Metaborate by fusing borax and hydroxide at
    high temperature. It is produced in solution by mixing borax
    and hydroxide.
    AFAIK the chances of getting much gas from KRST is
    negligible. I don't know what would happen if you put
    concentrated sulfuric acid into it but thats not going to
    happen in a darkroom. Also Kodalk was invented about 1935,
    long before KRST.
    Kodak and everyone else had many carbonate containing
    developers. After Kodak started pushing Kodalk Agfa and
    others came out with similar formulas using metaborate.
    Kodak D-1, the ABC Pyro formula, is very old and was
    considered obsolete by the time Kodalk came into use.
    Kodalk seems to be of uncertain hydration. Curiously, the
    Xtol patent calls for the pentahydrate but the MSDS shows
    the tetrahydrate. In fact, this is probably just the
    difference between an older and newer nomenclature, the
    actual substance is the same.
    FWIW, Dektol is identical with the published formula D-72
    and contains sodium carbonate. The now discontinued Selectol
    was identical with D-52 and contained sodium carbonate.
    Selectol-Soft also contains carbonate. The only Kodak paper
    developer containing Kodalk was Ektonol whose MSDS shows
    Borax and sodium hydroxide. Ektonol was nice stuff but is
    now discontinued as a powder developer. Polymax Type-2 is
    I have no idea of what you are gettin at above. If it is
    to suggest that Kodak for some reason tried to keep the B&W
    photographic process acid, I can't agee. The use of acid
    stop baths and acid fixing baths dates from the beginning of
    gelatin emulsions c.1870. Other manufactuers followed the
    same procedures. While Kodak was the most powerful company
    in the US it had pretty good competition from AGFA and
    Dupont. AGFA, in particular was part of the gigantic
    I.G.Farbenindustie and could have introduced some other
    method if it was practical.
    If you are getting at something else I can't figure out
    what it is.
    Richard Knoppow, Oct 25, 2003
  4. Keep posting Jorge... You're experiments are interesting reading...
    Dennis O'Connor, Oct 25, 2003
  5. Dan Quinn

    Jorge Omar Guest

    Thanks for the kudos, Dan


    Jorge Omar, Oct 25, 2003
  6. Dan Quinn

    Jorge Omar Guest

    Sorry, I meant Denny.

    Jorge Omar, Oct 25, 2003
  7. Dan Quinn

    Dan Quinn Guest

    I should have been more clear. I had
    film in mind. Dektol though is a "Many,
    many years ago" formula.
    Yes, no fizz there, not a carbonate in
    the bunch. Organic? such as sodium acetate?
    Most others are also compatible with an all acid
    processing, that's true.
    Kodalk is compatible with acid processing.
    Not according to Dr. M. Gudzinowicz. Refering to the
    patent he mentions the hydrated forms of which Mr.
    Russel speaks.
    Kodak hopes the chances of any gas at all
    are nonexistant.

    I don't know what would happen if you put
    How about the popular 28% acitic acid. No
    chance with the thiosulfate present. So KRST,
    safe with acid in the darkroom.
    Perhaps about the time Kodak's Kodalk promotion
    YOU SAID IT! "After Kodak started Pushing Kodalk..."
    It's been an all acid B&W film processing ever since.
    AFAIK, Ilford is the only one of the big three that
    suggests using a water stop. The acid process got
    locked in going on 70 years ago.

    Yes "Many, many years ago"
    I'm only pointing out Kodak's consistant support and investment
    in an all acid, developer compatible through fix, processing of
    B&W film.
    For a moment consider what might have happened had a carbonate/
    bicarbonate alkali been the only choice: No cheap way to metaborate.
    That would have provided the intermedeate ph'es needed and work
    on alkaline compatible hardeners may have been the good investment.
    No telling what might have been. I understand that in their mon-
    bath research Kodak HAD to contend with alkaline chemistry. That
    though was mono-bath. Perhaps applied to the usuall processing
    much fruit would have been harvested. Who knows, constant ph
    processing might have been the order of the day. Dan
    Dan Quinn, Oct 26, 2003
  8. Dan Quinn

    Jorge Omar Guest


    Meataborate is a funny substance. According to Rio Tinto:
    [8 mol]
    "Theoretical composition
    Boric oxide, B2O3 25.25%
    Sodium oxide, Na2O 22.48%
    Water of crystallization, H2O 43.70%
    Anhydrous equivalent, NaBO2 47.73%"

    First we have 'theoretical composition' - not (real) composition.

    Second "Exists as sodium metaborate 8 mol below 53.6°C;
    transition to sodium metaborate 4 mol, which is stable, from
    53.6°C to 105°C". It means 8 mol and 4 mol are the same - depends on at
    which temperature one defines it; since for photo, solutions are about
    20C, I think one can state that in practice it would be 8 mol.

    Jorge Omar, Oct 26, 2003
  9. Dan Quinn

    Jorge Omar Guest


    I believe I have seen this article. Wouldn't Michael G. be referring to
    crystalization water?


    (Dan Quinn) wrote in @posting.google.com:
    Jorge Omar, Oct 26, 2003
  10. Dan Quinn

    Dan Quinn Guest

    Perhaps Dr. M. G. is not telling us the whole story.
    Why fuse? A mix of the two or even a liquid concentrate I'd think
    would do. Dan
    Dan Quinn, Oct 26, 2003
  11. Dan Quinn

    Jorge Omar Guest


    If it wasn't fused, it could not be sold as a powder, as Kodalk (Balanced
    Alkali) was. Decades ago, the usual were powdered devs, fixers, etc.


    (Dan Quinn) wrote in
    Jorge Omar, Oct 26, 2003
  12. Dan Quinn

    Jorge Omar Guest

    As I've said before, I've taken some pictures using 400TX, exposed @1250,
    dev in Diafine equivalent with the newly mixed metaborate.

    Photos were taken in a jazz club, from my younger son's jazz combo.
    I over guessed the light, so I did not bring a flash or monopod.
    I had to open the lens all the way (f1.4) to be able to hand hold the
    Stage lightning was too harsh and did not help a bit.

    Prints were quite nice (24x30cm, grade 3), captured well the ambient mood
    (even the dark shadows helped), grain is quite decent for the used EI.

    Jorge Omar, Oct 26, 2003
  13. Dan Quinn

    friend Guest

    On 25 Oct 2003 16:48:12 -0700, (Dan Quinn) wrote:

    you are very good in conspiracy theories, but not so in chemistry.
    Just accept Mr Knoppow arguments. From your posts, it's obvious that
    chemistry is an enigma to you. Sorry, for tough words.
    friend, Oct 27, 2003
  14. Dan Quinn

    Dan Quinn Guest

    You are saying that only a fused mix of borax and lye are Kodalk.
    That is saying that a proper mix of the two in solution is not Kodalk
    but metaborate. Since the two ways to the alkali yield same results,
    I'd think the near 70 year ago fusion process to have been TOP
    secrete. Kodak started pushing KODALK but nobody knew what it
    was OR the mix in solution method was unknowen and that is
    hard to believe.
    I see that Kodak uses metaborate in Xtol. Is Kodalk being sold?
    Is it only for nonreaders of this NG?
    Dan Quinn, Oct 28, 2003
  15. Dan Quinn

    Jorge Omar Guest

    There was a time when Kodak was a chemical producer, now no more.
    At that time they sold metol as Elon and metaborate as Kodalk Balanced
    When they decided to quit the chemical busines, Kodalk (TM) was gone and
    they've started using metaborate.

    For how long it has been known Kodalk was metaborate I do not know.


    (Dan Quinn) wrote in
    Jorge Omar, Oct 28, 2003
  16. Most likely since Kodak filed the patent on the process --
    like, before the product was introduced to the market.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Oct 28, 2003
  17. Dan Quinn

    Dan Quinn Guest

    How about Kodasoda or Kodasul or Kodatol or Kodaquin and of course
    Kodabor? Those labels are too revealing. Who would guess that lurking
    behind the Kodalk label was a mix of borax and lye, sodium metaborate.
    Now could'nt they have produced "Kodalk" without those high temp-
    eratures or was it part of Kodak's magic act many years ago?
    It must have impressed the press to see the molten meta issueing
    from the high temperature furnace. Dan
    Dan Quinn, Oct 28, 2003

  18. Kodak still sells DK-50, right? So what's in it?
    Michael Scarpitti, Oct 29, 2003
  19. Dan Quinn

    John Guest

    Should I assume that you mean specifically Eastman Kodak ? The Eastman
    chemical company is alive and well.


    "Eastman is the largest producer of polyester plastics for packaging and
    is a leading supplier of raw materials for paints and coatings, inks, and
    graphic arts, adhesives, textile sizes and other formulated products, and of
    cellulose acetate fibers."


    John S. Douglas - Photographer, Webmaster & Computer Tech
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
    Website --- http://www.darkroompro.com
    John, Oct 29, 2003
  20. Dan Quinn

    friend Guest

    how old is patent for Kodalk manufacturing?
    how long does the US patent last?
    friend, Oct 29, 2003
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