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Biocide Shootout Tests



SamCapote

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I got some pureish? phenol from Amber while I was visiting her and am thinking of adding some to my J Herbin and Pelikan inks. Would a vapor respirator and latex gloves be enough to safely handle the phenol(liquid) to add to the ink?

http://i1016.photobucket.com/albums/af283/Runnin_Ute/fpn_1424623518__super_pinks-bottle%20resized_zps9ihtoixe.png

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When I got a bottle of green ink from an american ink maker it had some strands that might have been mold but looked more like a piece of fabric so I removed it and have been keeping an eye on it the last months and in this week it had some grey/green growth that clearly looked like mold. So I started to look into what I could do with it to remove the growth. After reading in this thread and talking to a contact that work in clinical chemistry and he recommended Sodium azide instead of phenol because according to him it is equally effective and poisonous but easier to handle in higher concentrations.

To test if it had any adverse reaction on the ink we added 0.5ml of a 10% solution to a 6ml vial of ink. And if this don't make any noticable difference i am going to add the content to the vail to the bottle in a couple of hours (0.5ml of a 10% is enough for a 100ml bottle.

Apparently they use Sodium azide in more or less everything and it is really useful because it kills everything i the samples but don't effekt allot of the complex tests that they need to run.


Alarick: I personally wouldn't add any extra biocide to a new J Herbin ink because after reading the press release from them I would assume that they have take the problem really seriously.

Edited by Agge
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I got some pureish? phenol from Amber while I was visiting her and am thinking of adding some to my J Herbin and Pelikan inks. Would a vapor respirator and latex gloves be enough to safely handle the phenol(liquid) to add to the ink?

You're going to need more airflow than that I think, try mixing the ink near your stove vent (if you have one with a fan) with some windows open or taking the phenol outside and mixing there.

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Alarickc: How pure? Apparently at the lab where I got help with the Sodium azide they use Phenol in one test but when it is not in use they have it in a freezer.

 

If it is more than 5-10% phenol I wouldn't handler it at all outside of a real laboratory.

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If it is more than 5-10% phenol I wouldn't handler it at all outside of a real laboratory.

 

 

This is commercial grade pheno (4%).

 

 

These are the instructions from Natural Pigments (where you can buy it). No mention of mask, gloves, or a 10" pole.. ;)

 

Phenol Spray is a 4% solution of phenol to prevent mold formation on gesso and grounds. Add phenol to fresh liquid gesso or chalk ground mixtures and store it for days in a cool, dark place, or for even weeks in a refrigerator, without mold forming. Add to water to prevent solutions of casein, gum arabic, skin glues, etc,. from decomposing on storage, and as a preservative or antiseptic to prevent mold growth.

Directions of Use For Casein, Gum Arabic and Hide Glue Solutions
  1. Spray Phenol generously onto the surfaces of the containers, spoons and tools that will come in contact with the solution.
  2. Add Phenol to the water (1 teaspoonful to 16 fluid ounces or 500 ml) in the recipe before adding other ingredients.
For Grounds
  1. Spray Phenol generously onto the surfaces of the containers, spoons and tools that will come in contact with the ground mixture.
  2. Add Phenol to the water (1 teaspoonful to 16 fluid ounces or 500 ml) in the ground recipe before adding solid ingredients.

Phenol (carbolic acid) has been accepted in the past as a more or less standard preservative, antiseptic, and germicide, but it has two disadvantages. It is volatile and has a powerful odor; it is customary in industry to mask this by the addition of an odorant such as oil of sassafras or some other essential oil [Ed.--clove oil is excellent for this purpose]. Despite its disadvantages, it is still employed widely, especially with gum arabic solutions, because of its thoroughly known behavior.

Ralph Mayer (1991). The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques. Fifth Edition. New York: Viking Penguin. p. 441.

 

Edited by Cyber6

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Aha sorry I assumed that pure would be the powder or laboratory grade 98%solution or the 92% solution that have absorbed a maximum of moisture from the air.

And I would personally not handle any of those myself because I don't have the necessary equipment or knowledge to be able handle it really safe.

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Thanks for the tips everyone! I feel a bit better now with that. I'll probably use gloves in a ventilated space and call it good. I didn't know it was only 4%, Amber got it from someone else and didn't know either. That should be perfect for shoring up my bottles of EU inks for long-term(10+ years) storage and use.

http://i1016.photobucket.com/albums/af283/Runnin_Ute/fpn_1424623518__super_pinks-bottle%20resized_zps9ihtoixe.png

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amberleadavis

Alaric, I bought 2 bottles of it - because I was saving on shipping, but really, I can't imagine using all this phenol in my lifetime, and I'm not sure I should have added it to all my inks and I won't do it in the future. I think it didn't play well with inks like Midway Blue that aren't pH neutral. I wouldn't think it was strong enough to change the pH of the ink, but it might have. I am sorry I didn't show you the bottle when you were here.

 

http://www.naturalpigments.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/5/0/500-22PHSP8_lg.jpg

 

OH, wait ... I added it to Thistle when I mixed it up, because I wasn't sure it had a biocide in it - it's like a hundred years old and I'm adding water. I did not add it to the modern Blue Amber because it already has a biocide.

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I had a thought have anyone tried to contact potential problematic ink brands?

 

I am primary thinking about european brands that are forced to work under allot harder regulation pressure.

 

The question I was thinking about is: how long they expect the ink to viable and if they have any "of the record" recommendation on what would be a good to additive to make it inhospitable for biological contamination for at least 20+ years?

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I think it didn't play well with inks like Midway Blue that aren't pH neutral. I wouldn't think it was strong enough to change the pH of the ink, but it might have. I am sorry I didn't show you the bottle when you were here.

 

 

What happened to your Midway Blue that made you suspect anything? I'm asking because

 

1. I had a sample of Midway Blue that was much darker than what my bottle turned out to be, which makes me wonder if Midway tends to darken over time. Phenol was not involved.

2. I mixed Midway Blue with Namiki Blue (1 part Midway to 2 parts Namiki). Namiki Blue "out of the bottle" smells stronger of phenol than anything I've added phenol to myself.

3. The mix seems perfectly stable so far.

I know my id is "mhosea", but you can call me Mike. It's an old Unix thing.

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EGdaTarHeel

I bought a bottle to add to my PR inks. When at the local pen show, many of the experts don't believe PR has adequately addressed the mold issues they had in the past. So as I like the PR DC blues as my daily inks, I thought I'd write PR to ask about their biocides program. They informed me that they do use an industry standard biocides but when I asked about addressing the past issues, I didn't receive an answer (she was probably irritated with the questions). So bought a bottle of the 4% solution and am trying a few drops in my partial bottle of Electric DC blue. The bottle now smells of phenol and I don't see any difference in my writing with the ink (I used 1 drop per 10 ml of ink). Only time will tell.

 

Does anyone have any updated info on PR inks and if they effectively addressed the biocide challenge they had in the past? I'd love to be able to put my bottle up for sale here.

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I actually called (couldnt find an email address) PR a couple of days ago to see what they wanted to do about an infected ink I have. And the women I talked to asked someone else if they had gotten a new delivery of the ink in question and wanted me to send the infected ink in and they would send a replacement to me.

 

I would expect that they could have handled it better but are aware of the problem and have probably changed the recipe on new batches.

Not the best way to handle it but in the end at least they are doing something.

 

 

In the end I told them that I would be adding a biocide myself but could send the mold to them if they wanted which they wanted me to do and a description on what happened with the ink and what biocide I added.

It would cost at least 3 times the value of the ink to send it from Sweden to the USA and even if they would pay it it just feels unnecessary when I have the ability to fix the problem my self.

 

They did promise to send me some "stuff" for my trouble :)

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  • 3 months later...

Interesting to see that over time, there is now this "easy" source in smaller quantities for what would have been my first biocide choice: Dowicil 75. For those who remember Sean Colfer's inks, he only used this.

 

Also, not sure how easy it is to get Proxel GXL, but DOW's comparable product that I just found listed on Amazon is called Dowicide A.

 

I am not sure of all the differences, but you can get a pretty good idea from this DOW link....and why Dowicil 75 is what I wanted back when I started this topic (see p. 6 of their PDF), but was unable to easily obtain it.

 

If you use the Dowicil 75 choice, make sure you read the instructions, MSDS, etc.

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

Surprised that noone apparently took note of these other resources. I ordered and received my Dowicil 75, and pretty happy about getting it.

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

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Surprised that noone apparently took note of these other resources. I ordered and received my Dowicil 75, and pretty happy about getting it.

 

I did notice... but my experience with Phenol has been quite successful thanks to your detail instructions, so I did not see the need to invest more time (and $) on another biocide.

 

In any case, thanks so much. ;)

 

 

 

C.

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**** BauerInks.ca ****

**** MORE.... Robert Oster Signature INKS ****

**** NICK STEWART - KWZI INKs TEST ****

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge." -Stephen Hawking,

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  • 1 month later...

OK, cool....and does make sense. Almost all of the vintage inks I have found over the years had that phenol common denominator....but we know that it proportionately decreases its biocidality (if that's a word!) as the pH rises above 8.0. Many of the Japanese inks I tested have higher pH ranges...and for those Dowacil would absolutely work better.

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

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OK, cool....and does make sense. Almost all of the vintage inks I have found over the years had that phenol common denominator....but we know that it proportionately decreases its biocidality (if that's a word!) as the pH rises above 8.0. Many of the Japanese inks I tested have higher pH ranges...and for those Dowacil would absolutely work better.

Ironically, it's only modern Japanese inks that smell of phenol anymore, but I guess they know what they're doing (add lots). BTW, I did get some Dowicil 75.

I know my id is "mhosea", but you can call me Mike. It's an old Unix thing.

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