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Biocide Shootout Tests


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#21 Possum Hill

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 13:14

Well, as is often the case in life, I have good news & bad news. After only 3 weeks, my dear, lost, fungal friends have returned.

Surprisingly, every bottle now has clearly visible solid string-like growth....EXCEPT vials #9 & 10 which is the 1 & 2 drops of the "Proprietary Ink Maker's" biocide, which is still clear.

I have one other option in the works of getting a stronger concentration of the Sporicidin, but the doses I used were not BIO-CIDAL or BIO-STATIC at preventing the spores from hatching. You have to admire nature's tenacity.

But I'm not done yet. :ninja: This just makes things more interesting.

This also validates what pharmacist said earlier about the amount of Phenol required.

That makes me wonder if mixing the mystery ink 50/50 with another ink would be sufficient to protect the mix (assuming no adverse reactions).
"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." -- Winston Churchill

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#22 SamCapote

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 13:51

Well, as is often the case in life, I have good news & bad news. After only 3 weeks, my dear, lost, fungal friends have returned.

Surprisingly, every bottle now has clearly visible solid string-like growth....EXCEPT vials #9 & 10 which is the 1 & 2 drops of the "Proprietary Ink Maker's" biocide, which is still clear.

I have one other option in the works of getting a stronger concentration of the Sporicidin, but the doses I used were not BIO-CIDAL or BIO-STATIC at preventing the spores from hatching. You have to admire nature's tenacity.

But I'm not done yet. :ninja: This just makes things more interesting.

This also validates what pharmacist said earlier about the amount of Phenol required.

That makes me wonder if mixing the mystery ink 50/50 with another ink would be sufficient to protect the mix (assuming no adverse reactions).


? mystery ink ? Not sure what you mean. It is pretty cool that only 1 drop of the "Proprietary Ink Maker's biocide" completely wiped out the mold. That at least tells me it can be killed and/or prevented from growing with a relatively small dose of 1 drop per 4 ml of ink.
With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

#23 Possum Hill

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 14:13

Well, as is often the case in life, I have good news & bad news. After only 3 weeks, my dear, lost, fungal friends have returned.

Surprisingly, every bottle now has clearly visible solid string-like growth....EXCEPT vials #9 & 10 which is the 1 & 2 drops of the "Proprietary Ink Maker's" biocide, which is still clear.

I have one other option in the works of getting a stronger concentration of the Sporicidin, but the doses I used were not BIO-CIDAL or BIO-STATIC at preventing the spores from hatching. You have to admire nature's tenacity.

But I'm not done yet. :ninja: This just makes things more interesting.

This also validates what pharmacist said earlier about the amount of Phenol required.

That makes me wonder if mixing the mystery ink 50/50 with another ink would be sufficient to protect the mix (assuming no adverse reactions).


? mystery ink ? Not sure what you mean. It is pretty cool that only 1 drop of the "Proprietary Ink Maker's biocide" completely wiped out the mold. That at least tells me it can be killed and/or prevented from growing with a relatively small dose of 1 drop per 4 ml of ink.

I'm assuming that the Proprietary Ink Maker's biocide is used in the Proprietary Ink Maker's ink and since we don't know just what manufacturer that is (and I'm not asking who) I just referred to the product as mystery ink for convenience.

Mixing Proprietary Ink Maker's ink half and half with another brand of ink would obviously reduce the concentration of the effective biocide by half. It would be interesting to see if that would still be effective at that level.
"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." -- Winston Churchill

#24 SamCapote

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 14:43

Well, as is often the case in life, I have good news & bad news. After only 3 weeks, my dear, lost, fungal friends have returned.

Surprisingly, every bottle now has clearly visible solid string-like growth....EXCEPT vials #9 & 10 which is the 1 & 2 drops of the "Proprietary Ink Maker's" biocide, which is still clear.

I have one other option in the works of getting a stronger concentration of the Sporicidin, but the doses I used were not BIO-CIDAL or BIO-STATIC at preventing the spores from hatching. You have to admire nature's tenacity.

But I'm not done yet. :ninja: This just makes things more interesting.

This also validates what pharmacist said earlier about the amount of Phenol required.

That makes me wonder if mixing the mystery ink 50/50 with another ink would be sufficient to protect the mix (assuming no adverse reactions).


? mystery ink ? Not sure what you mean. It is pretty cool that only 1 drop of the "Proprietary Ink Maker's biocide" completely wiped out the mold. That at least tells me it can be killed and/or prevented from growingwith a relatively small dose of 1 drop per 4 ml of ink.

I'm assuming that the Proprietary Ink Maker's biocide is used in the Proprietary Ink Maker's ink and since we don't know just what manufacturer that is (and I'm not asking who) I just referred to the product as mystery ink for convenience.

Mixing Proprietary Ink Maker's ink half and half with another brand of ink would obviously reduce the concentration of the effective biocide by half. It would be interesting to see if that would still be effective at that level.


Oh I see what you are thinking. It is good thinking, but I don't know how much of the clear biocide is actually put in a given quantity of ink, and mixing inks obviously changes the resulting color. I'm going for a pure solution.
With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

#25 jmw19

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 14:48

Sam, do you think the Proprietary Ink Maker could be encouraged to release his biocide separately? Given the efficacy, I'd definitely be interested in purchasing a half-ounce vial. I've got both Tryphon products, but based on your testing, am unsure it would do much if I were to develop a problem.

To go off-topic for a bit, I too am always impressed by nature's tenacity. It seems no matter how hard we try to sterilize something, we're only clearing the way for a stronger organism to flourish.

Jon (another SAF convert - I used to think a pound of yeast was outrageous, and now I go through one a year, if not more)

#26 SamCapote

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 02:07

Sam, do you think the Proprietary Ink Maker could be encouraged to release his biocide separately? Given the efficacy, I'd definitely be interested in purchasing a half-ounce vial. I've got both Tryphon products, but based on your testing, am unsure it would do much if I were to develop a problem.

To go off-topic for a bit, I too am always impressed by nature's tenacity. It seems no matter how hard we try to sterilize something, we're only clearing the way for a stronger organism to flourish.

Jon (another SAF convert - I used to think a pound of yeast was outrageous, and now I go through one a year, if not more)


I don't think they will release it.

I have permission to say the Inkmaker's Proprietary Biocide ("IPB") is an American company.

I'm now going to increase the dose of Sporicidin (1.56%) Phenol, until I find the threshold where it does work. I'm going to add some more inks that are also infected (confirming by microscope), and make sure I find an adequate dose of both Phenol and the IPB that controls an active infection after filtering out the bulk colony strands. I know if a biocide will wipe out a known infection, then a lesser dose will keep it preserved.
With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

#27 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 19:47

80,000 go to the better hospitals of the world every year, healthy for an operation, and the resistant to anti-biotic bugs kill them.

The bacteria have have little p*ricks that they stick into all others in spite of the species making them immune.
With luck there is a 1980's anti-biotic, that was stopped from use due to side effects, that still works.

The Dutch hospitals have been working on this seriously since the '80's, and are the best in the world against this kind of infection.
Everyone else's country is 4th or at best 3rd quality....and don't expect too much...after all that cleanliness costs an arm and a leg, and the stock holders; Funds, insurance companies and Banks are not in the health business to lose money.
Now even the Dutch are starting to lose the battle, against the bugs...they don't have to battle Funds and Banks.

Here it appears is a 'new' fungus that should be reported to them who have large university backed interest in them.

These fungus seem to have found a new home, and can digest what ever poison's you were using.
I watched some neat TV programs on Fungus's too. And they found some smart fungus's too. Did maze problems with them, and they got smarter.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 09 November 2010 - 19:48.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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#28 voop

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 22:07

Just a thought......

Why not try to make some use of those no-good-for-nothing-especially-security TSA employee that are currently sexually molesting people in airports: bring a couple of bottles to your local airport, and convince one of them to roast the bottle for a couple of minutes in the X-ray.

Come to think about it, perhaps maybe trying to ask a local physician or veterinarian -- the TSA employees have a pavlovian reflex when they see liquids.....

Anyways, a high enough dose of X-rays should either nuke what's living in your bottles to ashes -- or, if Hollywood is anything to go by, create a mutant ninja bug, that will baffle science and terrorize the earth....

#29 lapis

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 22:47

Sam, as much as do I admire all of the time and effort you have spent here -- and I can certainly imagine doing the same thing myself -- why don't you forget about those additives which just don't seem to work off-hand, and try something else like azides. Sodium azide is very water-soluble and can be used as a preservative in solution (no, don't drink the stuff yourself) at a concentrtion of 1 mg/ ml or less.
Apart from that, all I deem necessary is that we chuck this manufacturer and that vendor. I.e. it seems to be simply bad Q/A and/or service on the part of both.
BTW, although this is by no means meant to be an excuse or forgiveness for everything, I'm convinced that the problems you have been expanding on here all deal with a single batch or 10 of De Atramentis' inks. I have a dozen or so of their inks, and over the last few years I have not yet been faced with that calamity.

Mike

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#30 SamCapote

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 23:24

Sam, as much as do I admire all of the time and effort you have spent here -- and I can certainly imagine doing the same thing myself -- why don't you forget about those additives which just don't seem to work off-hand, and try something else like azides. Sodium azide is very water-soluble and can be used as a preservative in solution (no, don't drink the stuff yourself) at a concentrtion of 1 mg/ ml or less.
Apart from that, all I deem necessary is that we chuck this manufacturer and that vendor. I.e. it seems to be simply bad Q/A and/or service on the part of both.
BTW, although this is by no means meant to be an excuse or forgiveness for everything, I'm convinced that the problems you have been expanding on here all deal with a single batch or 10 of De Atramentis' inks. I have a dozen or so of their inks, and over the last few years I have not yet been faced with that calamity.

Mike


Thanks for your feedback! That's another good choice. Requires shipping to a company, so not as available for general FPN community. My preliminary concern with it (besides the toxic hazards) was the interaction with metals, and uncertainty if that may cause problems with certain dye groups, and/or pen metal components. I'm not sure though.
With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

#31 SamCapote

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 01:05

I got another little bit of good news in this ongoing experiment.

1.) The American Proprietary Ink Maker's Biocide has wiped out the fungus in 3 other DeAtramentis contaminated inks (as verifed by microscopic exam on oil immersion high power). Like it, I do.

2.) I got a 3x concentrated gallon batch of Sporicidin, so although the 0.1% Phenol dose that member pharmacist recommended as Biostatic protection, it is apparently not Biocidal once you have an active infection. That makes sense that you will need 3-5 times as much to wipe out an infection than you would need to prevent it in a clean ink. I'm using this higher concentration to find the exact amount needed to wipe out existing fungal SITB, knowing that a dialed back dose would work as a long term preventive agent.

I have heard from several sources that back in the old days when Phenol was "in vogue," ink makers would add however much of it until there was a distinct Phenol smell. Some inks (perhaps with higher than 8.0 pH) required much more to work, so they just added more without keeping precise records, since the amount varied from ink to ink.
With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

#32 SamCapote

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 01:24

An update for those of you who are still following my wacky "Mr. Wizard" experiments.

Using the 3x Sporicidin I got as a research project from the company, I added 5 drops (of 3x which has 4.56% Phenol) to vial #6 which had all kinds of strands and pieces easily visible to the eye, in addition all the contaminated Yellow Orange vials are cloudy. After only 2-3 days, this vial became remarkably clear. There is no sediment on the bottom, so obviously this higher dose resulted in cell wall destruction (lysis), and a purity of the contaminated ink that is inspiring.


..... (Thumbnail)



For reference, on pharmacist's recommendation, I had previously added 5 drops of original Sporicidin on October 20th to bring vial #6 up to a 0.1% Phenol dose, but it did nothing. So when I added 5 more drops of the 3X dose, that effectively brought the cumulative Phenol up to 0.4% (or 4 grams per Liter)--resulting in the spectacular clearing. Now I know for a fact that the Phenol will kill the active infection, and actually clear the ink...and that dose is somewhere between 0.1% and 0.4%. I just added reduced amounts to vials #3 & #4 to test for the Phenol bioCIDAL threshold in amounts of 0.15% & 0.2% respectively.

When I find the amount to kill (bioCIDAL) the active infection, then certainly less would be needed to prevent an infection (bioSTATIC) if your ink was already clean. I keep going back to this Sporicidin because it is READILY available to anyone (in the USA).

I have also started using this 3x Sporicidin in several other colors of DeAtramentis inks that I have verified microscopically are contaminated with yeast. These are bottles I had previously filtered and added 6 drops of Tryphon's Sterilink last May, only to see the fungus grow back within 3 weeks. I have some other brands of ink with SITB that I am also going to deal with.

#33 SamCapote

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 23:49

I know the threshold dose of Sporicidin Disinfectant Solution (OTC 'safe' concentration of Phenol) required to kill ("biocidal dose") and prevent re-growth ("biostatic") from the widespread fungal contamination from most of my 56 DeAtramentis inks.

I have been testing lower concentrated doses of Sporicidin on some of the other DeAtramentis known fungal infected inks after paper filtering to remove all the hyphae strands, but not the spores, to see at what concentration it prevents the spores from hatching and raining on my parade of colors. I have also added the higher biocidal dose to 15 common inks to see if there are any apparent effects on the ink's stability, color, performance. I did writing and Q-tip samples before adding the Sporicidin, and want to let it just sit for a couple months, next to the untreated control vial of original ink alongside so I can compare appearances, performance, etc.
With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

#34 corniche

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 00:02

Hello Sam,

Thank you for the update; I am more than curious to see how this all progresses. Thank you very much for your time and effort- I know for a fact what you are doing is very involved and arduous work- thank you.

All the best & God bless,

Sean :)
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#35 hobobaggins

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 01:18

Funny you should bump this, as I have just gotten my first attack of STIB and was considering a less-methodical killing of the mold.

Thanks for the analysis!
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#36 SamCapote

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 04:18

I wanted to add this source of 4% Phenol solution while they still have it available from Natural Pigments. Dino found this while discussing SITB in this thread.and it is very close to the custom 4.5% mixture I got sent to me of Sporicidin described earlier.

My initial recommendation for storage prevention would be to add 1 ml in a 30-40 ml bottle of ink, but if it is a vintage ink, test it with a sample in a plastic vial from www.gouletpens.com first. For a contaminated bottle after filtering out the visible SITB, I would double or triple the dose and watch it. I don't think having a 3-10% dilution of your ink is going to have that much of an impact on the color, vs. tossing the bottle altogether.
With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

#37 SamCapote

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 23:39

Let me finalize my testing results that was prompted by the recent question about Tryphon's product, which I do not believe works as a biocide.

There are many choices that can be used for an ink biocide. If you read back through this thread, a number of suggestions were given. Many of them have significant safety, and/or availability, and/or measuring/mixing requirements. Most of them have unproven track records with a variety of fountain pen inks and valuable pen components.

When considering various choices, I looked at biocides that are relatively safe to use, available to the ordinary consumer, pre-mixed, affordable, has a track record of being used safely for decades by all the major ink manufacturers with a wide variety of colors and pens. The only thing that fit all those concerns is phenol. The best place to get it already mixed in a 4% water solution is from Natural Pigments here ($8.50 + shipping).

To reach an effective preventive biocide level for long term storage, you need 1 part of this 4% phenol solution added to 40 parts ink (or 1 ml in a 40 ml bottle).

Small print details for those interested:

  • Phenol does not work as well in these "standard" doses when the ink has a higher ("basic") pH--especially above pH 8.0 which is why I was testing some in this thread. The other biocides that work in the higher pH range are not easy for consumers to obtain, mix/use safely, know which degrade inks and pen components, etc.
  • This small volume dilution did not affect the appearance of any ink I tested.
  • If you have an active infection, after filtering with a coffee filter, use 1 part per 10-15 parts of ink. Observe treated sample in a small (gouletpens.com) plastic vial for several weeks before using. Shine a light behind it and look for any SITB re-forming.
  • Use latex/nitrile gloves and eye protection to avoid accidental splashing contact. You may want to have a gentle fan blowing the fumes away from your nose while working with it. Despite this Natural Pigments bottle coming with a sprayer, I personally would not recommend spraying it. For reassurance, I remind you that Chloraseptic throat spray has 1.5% phenol in it.


With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

#38 Alohamora

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 23:45

Thanks for sharing all your research on this subject with us!

#39 SamCapote

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 21:23

Let me finalize my testing results that was prompted by the recent question about Tryphon's product, which I do not believe works as a biocide.

There are many choices that can be used for an ink biocide. If you read back through this thread, a number of suggestions were given. Many of them have significant safety, and/or availability, and/or measuring/mixing requirements. Most of them have unproven track records with a variety of fountain pen inks and valuable pen components.

When considering various choices, I looked at biocides that are relatively safe to use, available to the ordinary consumer, pre-mixed, affordable, has a track record of being used safely for decades by all the major ink manufacturers with a wide variety of colors and pens. The only thing that fit all those concerns is phenol. The best place to get it already mixed in a 4% water solution is from Natural Pigments here ($8.50 + shipping).

To reach an effective preventive biocide level for long term storage, you need 1 part of this 4% phenol solution added to 40 parts ink (or 1 ml in a 40 ml bottle).

Small print details for those interested:

  • Phenol does not work as well in these "standard" doses when the ink has a higher ("basic") pH--especially above pH 8.0 which is why I was testing some in this thread. The other biocides that work in the higher pH range are not easy for consumers to obtain, mix/use safely, know which degrade inks and pen components, etc.
  • This small volume dilution did not affect the appearance of any ink I tested.
  • If you have an active infection, after filtering with a coffee filter, use 1 part per 10-15 parts of ink. Observe treated sample in a small (gouletpens.com) plastic vial for several weeks before using. Shine a light behind it and look for any SITB re-forming.
  • Use latex/nitrile gloves and eye protection to avoid accidental splashing contact. You may want to have a gentle fan blowing the fumes away from your nose while working with it. Despite this Natural Pigments bottle coming with a sprayer, I personally would not recommend spraying it. For reassurance, I remind you that Chloraseptic throat spray has 1.5% phenol in it.


One other "rule of thumb" addition if you want to save a contaminated ink, and can deal with a bit more dilution from the biocide:

  • To eradicate an active infection, first pour your ink through a clean coffee filter (in a clean funnel) into a separate, clean bottle. This removes the bulk of the fibrous growth. If you have a question about the cleanliness of the filter/funnel, you could carefully pour some household bleach and/or Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol through them.
  • Now add 1 part of the 4% Phenol solution to 10 parts ink. (i.e. 10 ml Phenol in 100 ml of ink; or 5 ml Phenol in 50 ml ink; or 3 ml Phenol in 30 ml ink)
  • Keep treated ink isolated and observe for growth after 2-4 weeks before using. If you want to be even more anal, you can pour a small amount into a Goulet plastic vial that is untreated with Phenol to compare to. For darker inks, you need a strong LED backlight, and a smaller volume container like the plastic vials to see through.
Keep in mind that if you have an ink with a pH higher than 8.0 that is contaminated, you need a higher dose of phenol than this. Observe proper eye (glasses/goggles), skin (latex/nitrile gloves), respiratory (ventilation/fan blowing away from you) protections.

Edited by SamCapote, 18 September 2011 - 21:24.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

#40 corniche

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 01:38

Hello Sam,

Thank you for providing this useful formula; while we're on the subject, do you recommend adding Phenol to uninfected inks to PREVENT contamination? If so, should we follow this same formula or use a little less in non-infected specimens? :unsure:

All the best,

Sean :)
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