Using KODAK Chemicals in Minilabs

This publication is written especially for minilab operators. It provides the most commonly used technical information about film and paper processes for minilabs. Using KODAK FLEXICOLOR Chemicals and KODAK EKTACOLOR PRIME EKTACOLOR RA Chemicals in your minilab ensures that you are using chemicals that provide optimum results with the least environmental impact possible.

This publication describes the processing cycles recommended for processing KODAK GOLD Films, KODAK EKTAR films, and KODAK EKTACOLOR EDGE and ROYAL II Papers in minilabs, and includes information on the new KODAK EKTACOLOR PRIME Chemicals for your paper process: EKTACOLOR PRIME Chemicals provide excellent performance and have the least impact on the environment.

This manual is divided into three sections:

  • Chemicals and Chemical Handling
  • Processing Cycles for KODAK Chemicals
  • Process Monitoring and Troubleshooting


Chemicals and Chemical Handling

CHEMICALS AND CHEMICAL HANDLING

High-quality customer orders begin with proper chemical handling and your choice of chemicals. Chemical handling includes how you store and mix chemicals and your attention to chemical safety.

This section describes:

  • Chemical terms
  • Processing solution effects
  • Choosing chemicals for your minilab
  • Safe handling of photographic chemicals
  • Chemical mixing
  • How to check chemicals
  • Solution storage
  • Compensating for evaporation
  • How to clean tanks and racks
  • How to dispose of effluent and chemicals
  • Solid waste disposal

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Chemical Terms

Chemical Terms

To help you understand the terms we've used to describe the chemicals in this manual, here are some definitions:

Chemical Concentrates or Concentrates-Chemicals that must be diluted to make replenisher or tank solutions.

Fresh Solution-Newly mixed, unused solution.

Replenisher-Solution used to restore the chemical components of the tank solution to maintain photographic performance over time.

Regenerator-Solution or concentrate added to tank-solution overflow to convert it for reuse as replenisher solution.

Seasoned Solution-A tank solution that has been used and replenished for a period of time. The chemical components and seasoning by-products of a seasoned solution are at an optimum level for processing.

Starter-Concentrate added to a replenisher to prepare a fresh tank solution so it yields results similar to those provided by a seasoned tank solution.

Tank Solution-The solution used in the processor tank; often referred to as "working solution."

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Processing Solution Effects

How Each Processing Solution Affects Your Results

Each solution affects the emulsion differently. Understanding the reaction of each solution can help you diagnose processing problems.

Developer-The developer chemically reduces the exposed silver halide in the film or paper to form a metallic silver image. At the same time, the color developing agent in the developer oxidizes and combines with the dye couplers at the site of the silver image in each of the dye-forming emulsion layers to form a color image. Once the dye image has formed, there is no need for the silver image. It is removed by bleaching and fixing.

The amount of cyan, magenta, and yellow dye formed depends on exposure and developer activity. Temperature, time, replenishment rate, replenisher concentration, agitation, and the rate at which solutions diffuse into the emulsion affect developer activity. Time, temperature, and agitation affect the diffusion rate. With too much developer activity, too much dye forms; with too little activity, not enough dye forms.

Bleach-In the film process, the bleach stops developer activity and converts metallic silver into silver halide. The silver halide is dissolved in the fixer. Most paper processes combine the chemical reactions of bleaching and fixing in a single bleach-fix solution.

Bleach concentration and the rate at which the solution diffuses into the emulsion affect bleach activity. Time, agitation, and temperature affect the rate of diffusion. Replenishment rate, mixing procedures, and aeration efficiency affect the chemical concentrations. Bleach aeration adds oxygen needed to convert the reduced bleaching agent to an active form.

If bleaching is inadequate, less than the normal amount of cyan dye is formed because some of the dye remains in the leuco (colorless) condition. This affects the color balance. Bleach time that is too short, bleach that is too dilute, or insufficient bleach aeration can cause leuco-cyan dye to form.

Inadequate bleaching can also cause retained silver because not all the metallic silver is converted to silver halide. Leuco-cyan dye and retained silver adversely affect image quality, but you can correct both conditions by rebleaching and refixing the film in good solutions.

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Processing Solution Effects

Fixer-In a film process, the fixer converts silver halide into soluble silver complexes. Most of these silver complexes remain in the fixer solution;

you can recover them with electrolytic silver-recovery units and/or chemical-recovery cartridges. Fixing efficiency depends on fixer activity and the diffusion rate into the emulsion. Temperature, replenisher concentration, and replenishment rate affect fixer activity. Time and agitation affect the diffusion rate,

Inadequate fixing may not remove all of the sensitizing dyes and silver halide. An increase in the red and green D-min densities of the control plot is one sign of incomplete fixing. Another sign is a milky appearance in the D-min areas of control strips and processed film. If this problem occurs, you can test the fixer by refixing the control strip (or film) in a fixer that you are sure is good. If refixing the strip corrects the control plot, the original fixer is probably exhausted. You can correct inadequately fixed film by refixing it.

The most probable causes of inadequate fixing are fixer that is diluted by excessive solution carryover, an inadequate fixing time, under-replenishment, and fixer sulfurization. Temperature has very little effect on the fixing rate if other fixer conditions are within tolerances. Agitation is necessary primarily for uniform fixing.

Bleach-Fix-The paper process uses a bleach-fix instead of a separate bleach and fixer. A bleach-fix has three primary purposes: to stop the action of the developer, to convert metallic silver into silver halide, and to dissolve the silver halide.

Bleach-fix performance depends on the concentration and the diffusion rate of the solution into the emulsion. Replenishment and mixing procedures affect bleach-fix concentration. Time, agitation, and temperature affect the diffusion rate. Incorrect bleach-fix conditions or an abnormal bleach-fix can affect the amount of dye formed.

Inadequate bleach-fixing may not convert all of the metallic silver to silver halide. A sign of retained silver is an increase in the black-patch (BP) densities and a desaturation of the yellow of the logo on the control strip (giving it a brown appearance). Retained silver degrades image quality by desaturating the colors-especially yellow-and is most apparent in higher-density areas where there is more silver to convert. You can remove retained silver by reprocessing the paper in a good bleach-fix.

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Processing Solution Effects

Stabilizer-In a film process, the stabilizer step promotes dye stability and uniform drying, and reduces water spotting. In minilabs that use a washless film or paper process, the stabilizer is used (instead of a wash step) to remove residual chemicals from the film or paper.

Wash-Most minilabs operate without a wash step; however, some older minilabs use wash water to remove residual chemicals from the film or paper. Good washing requires enough circulation to keep fresh water in contact with the emulsion. The water temperature must be warm enough to swell the gelatin so the water moves freely into the emulsion to remove the chemicals, but not so warm that it damages the emulsion. A thorough final wash is necessary because chemicals that remain in the film or paper (particularly fixer or bleach-fix) can cause dyes to fade.

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FLEXICOLOR Chemicals

Choosing the Right Chemicals for Your Process

Kodak is committed to providing minilabs with chemicals that are safe, economical, and easy to use. The chemicals designed for minilabs are supplied in liquid concentrates for easy mixing and handling; they are available in convenient and economical sizes. Kodak designs these chemicals to be as safe as possible for our environment.

KODAK FLEXICOLOR Chemicals for Minilab Film Processors

Features
Benefits
Ш KODAK FLEXICOLOR Developer Replenisher LORR provides low developer replenishment rates Ш Fewer mixes

Ш Less effluent discharged-less environmental impact

Ш Chemical and cost savings

Ш KODAK FLEXICOLOR Bleach III NR Replenisher is a powerful bleach with significantly reduced chemical concentrations Ш Reduced environmental impact

Ш Greater bleaching safety factor

Ш Virtually eliminates retained silver problems

Ш All liquid concentrates Ш Easy mixing
Ш Rapid-access cycle time available for some minilabs Ш Fast turnaround for customer orders
Ш Washless cycle available Ш No water or sewer hookup required

Ш Water and energy cost savings

Ш Good mixes with a variety of water supplies Ш Quality of local water supply not critical

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FLEXICOLOR Chemicals

Kodak packages the following FLEXICOLOR Chemicals in convenient sizes for minilabs. For information on process cycles, see page 23.
KODAK Chemical Process Cycle Sizes to Make* Comments
FLEXICOLOR Developer Replenisher LORR C-41B, C-41RA, C-41 5 L, 10 L, 25 gal (two 12Ѕ gal mixes) Low replenishment rate means fewer mixes; less effluent discharged.
FLEXICOLOR Developer Starter LORR C-41B, C-41RA, C-41 8.3 gal of tank solution Use with FLEXICOLOR Developer Replenisher LORR to prepare a tank solution.
FLEXICOLOR Bleach III Replenisher C-41B, C-41 5 gal, 12 Ѕ gal A powerful bleach with reduced amounts of iron and chelates.
FLEXICOLOR Bleach III NR Replenisher C-41B, C-41 5L Low replenishment rates; fewer mixes, less effluent discharged. Reduced iron and chelates,
FLEXICOLOR RA Bleach Replenisher NR C-41RA 5L Use only with minilabs designed for Process C-41 RA. Ready to use as supplied.
FLEXICOLOR Fixer and Replenisher C-41B, C-41 5 L, 5 gal, 25 gal Use to make a replenisher or tank solution.
FLEXICOLOR RA Fixer and Replenisher C-41RA 5 L, 10 L Use only with minilabs designed for Process C-41 RA. Use as a replenisher or tank solution.
FLEXICOLOR Stabilizer and Replenisher LF C-41B, C-41RA, C-41 5 L, 10 L, 12 Ѕ gal Contains a stabilizing agent that has only trace levels of formaldehyde.

*Sizes listed are available in the U.S. and Canada. Other regions may supply these chemicals in different sizes; for more information, contact Kodak in your country.

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EKTACOLOR Chemicals

KODAK EKTACOLOR Chemicals for Minilab Paper Processors
Features
Benefits
Ш Fast access time Ш Prints in less than half the time of Process EP-2

Ш Quicker results from printer tests

Ш Low replenishment rates Ш Less effluent discharged-less environmental impact

Ш Fewer mixes

Ш Chemical and cost savings

Ш Low water usage Ш Less effluent discharged

Ш Reduced water and energy costs

Ш Can be used with a washless cycle Additional water and energy savings; smaller amounts of effluent discharged
Ш Greater process stability Ш Consistent, repeatable print quality over a broad range of process utilizations

Ш Less need to adjust for low utilization

Ш Fewer printer changes due to process shifts

Ш Contains patented preservatives that protect developing agent from oxidation Ш Stable developer activity
Ш Good mixes with a variety of water supplies Ш Quality of local water supply not critical
Ш Contains stain-reducing agent Ш Clean, crisp whites in prints
Ш No benzyl alcohol Ш Easy mixing

Ш Less BOD5 and COD discharged

Ш Cleaner mixes

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EKTACOLOR Chemicals

Kodak packages the following EKTACOLOR Chemicals in convenient sizes for minilabs. For information on process cycles and utilization, see page 29.
KODAK Chemical
Process Cycle
Sizes to Make*
Comments
EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer Replenisher RA-4, RA-4ECM 10 L, 25 gal For minilabs with average utilization.U Chemical cost savings. You can easily convert your present developer to EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer Replenisher (see page 37).
EKTACOLOR RA Developer Starter RA-4, RA-4ECM Available as a 1 -litre concentrate Use with EKTACOLOR PRIME or EKTACOLOR RA Developer Replenisher RT to prepare a tank solution.
EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer Regenerator RA-4, RA-4ECM 10 L, 25 gal replenisher from developer overflow Reduces effluent discharged and chemical costs. No special equipment required. Use to regenerate EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer overflow.
EKTACOLOR PRIME Bleach-Fix Replenisher RA-4, RA-4ECM 10 L, 12Ѕ gal To convert to this solution from EKTACOLOR RA or RA 100 Bleach-Fix, adjust your replenishment rate to 108 mL/m2 (10 mL/ft2), and begin replenishing your tank solution.
EKTACOLOR PRIME Stabilizer and Replenisher RA-4, RA-4ECM 5 L, 10 L, 12Ѕ gal Use in place of a final wash in washless minilabs.
EKTACOLOR RA Developer Replenisher RT RA-4, RA-4ECM 5L, 10 L, 25 gal For minilabs with low utilization. For minilab enlargers. Formulated to minimize the effects of low utilization.
EKTACOLOR RA Bleach-Fix and Replenisher RA-4, RA-4ECM 5L, 10 L, 25 gal For minilabs with low utilization. For minilab enlargers. Use with EKTACOLOR RA Developer Replenisher RT

*Sizes listed are available in the U.S. and Canada. Other regions may supply these chemicals in different sizes; for more information, contact Kodak in your country.

UA developer tank turnover occurs at least once every four weeks.

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Chemical Handling

Safe Handling of Photographic Chemicals

Handle all chemicals carefully. For more information about potential health hazards and safe handling of specific Kodak chemicals, see the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the chemical or call the Kodak health, safety, and environmental information line at (716) 722-5151, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Follow Instructions Carefully-Kodak chemical packages have precautionary information on the labels. Always follow the label instructions. Read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for more handling information. If you need Material Safety Data Sheets for KODAK Chemicals in the U.S. or Canada, call (800) 242-2424, extension 43, or ask your Kodak sales representative. Please supply the catalog (CAT) numbers for the chemicals when you request MSDSs. In other regions, contact Kodak in your country.

Store Chemicals and Processing Solutions Safely-Keep chemicals and processing solutions out of the reach of children and pets. Do not store chemicals where you handle or store food. Do not eat, drink, or smoke in chemical-handling areas. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling chemicals, especially before eating or drinking.

Label All Chemicals Properly-In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard requires employers to inform employees about hazardous chemicals in the workplace. This standard requires that all containers of hazardous chemicals, including storage and processor tanks, be labeled. You can obtain self-adhesive KODAK Chemical labels for your storage and processor tanks from your Kodak sales representative or you can order them from your Kodak price catalog (see the information in the "Chemicals" section). These labels give the chemical hazard, handling instructions, and the action to take in case of accidental contact. Use these labels only for KODAK Chemicals; use with other manufacturers' chemicals is an incorrect use under the OSHA standard. Other countries may have similar requirements, so check with local authorities or Kodak in your country.

Keep the Mixing Area Clean-Clean up spilled chemicals as soon as possible with mild soap and water; wear nitrile rubber gloves. Residue from dried chemicals can become airborne and be inhaled or contaminate processing and printing areas.

Wear Protective Clothing-Wear goggles or a face shield and an apron (made of PVC) and protective gloves (made of nitrile rubber) when you mix solutions. Clean protective clothing after use to remove any chemical residue that can cause contamination.

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Chemical Handling

Handle Chemicals Carefully-Avoid contact of any chemicals with your skin; some photographic solutions, particularly developers, can cause skin irritation and an allergic skin reaction. In case of accidental chemical contact, wash your skin with running tap water and a non-alkaline (slightly acid) hand cleaner. If symptoms persist, get medical attention. If chemicals splash into your eyes, rinse them at once with running water; continue for at least 15 minutes. Get immediate medical attention. There must be an eyewash station handy to all employees. The station must be capable of providing a 15-minute flush of water or eye-wash fluid at a rate of 1.5 L/minute. All employees must know the location of the eyewash station, as well as the location of fire extinguishers and first-aid kits.

Ventilate the Area Properly-Some photographic chemicals and solutions give off vapors or gases. For safety and comfort, keep the concentration of these vapors and gases to a minimum. To minimize the concentration of vapors and gases, provide good ventilation (about 10 changes of room air per hour) and use covers and floating lids on all solution storage tanks (which also helps reduce evaporation and oxidation). Also, keep the processing tanks enclosed and vent the dryer according to the manufacturer's specifications.

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Chemical Mixing

Chemical Mixing

For the most current information, follow the mixing instructions packaged with the chemicals. Follow all safety precautions and handling recommendations given in the instructions and on pages 10 and 11.

Contamination Can Ruin a Process-Dirt and contamination can reduce the life and photographic quality of processing solutions. Avoid conditions where solutions can come in contact with other chemicals. Developers are especially sensitive to contamination. Small amounts of fixer or bleach-fix solution can contaminate developer solutions and cause adverse photographic effects. To lessen the possibility of contamination, thoroughly rinse and clean processing and mixing equipment and storage containers before use. Be careful not to drip solution into other tanks when you remove racks for cleaning. Wash and rinse processing and mixing equipment thoroughly before reusing it. The most common causes of contamination are-

  • solution splashed or dripped into another solution
  • mixing equipment that is not thoroughly clean
  • pipes and tanks made of materials that react with the chemicals

How to Check Your Chemicals

Fresh FLEXICOLOR and EKTACOLOR Chemical concentrates have a characteristic appearance and odor. The appearance and odor may reveal improper storage of a concentrate. The tables on pages 13 and 14 summarize characteristics of FLEXICOLOR and EKTACOLOR Chemical concentrates.

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Characteristics of FLEXICOLOR Chemicals

Characteristics of KODAK FLEXICOLOR Chemical Concentrates
FLEXICOLOR Chemical Part Normal Appearance Comments
Developers

Developer Replenishers

A Clear, colorless to very pale yellow; odorless Crystalline precipitate may form if stored at cold temperatures. This part is usable if color and odor are normal and crystalline material dissolves upon mixing.
B Clear, colorless; odorless
C Clear; color varies from light yellow to yellow Do not use if this part turns a dark color, becomes opaque, or contains precipitates.
Developer Starters
Clear, colorless to very pale yellow; odorless
Bleach III Replenisher A Clear, colorless to very pale yellow; odor of acetic acid (vinegar) There may occasionally be a small amount of light yellow-brown sediment, but it should not affect processing.
B Clear, greenish-yellow; slight ammonia odor Exposing the concentrate to temperatures lower than 4°C (40°F) may cause a red-brown precipitate (bleaching agent) to form. The precipitate should dissolve at room temperature.
RA Bleach NR
Clear, dark greenish-yellow; odor of acetic acid (vinegar)
Fixer RA Fixer
Clear, colorless to very pale yellow; odor of acetic acid (vinegar) Excessive age and/or exposure to high temperature can cause a light yellow sediment (sulfurization). It may become more yellow and produce a musty (sulfur) odor. A severely degraded fixer may appear dark, contain sulfur precipitates, and have a rotten egg odor.
Stabilizer and Replenisher LF
Clear, colorless; slight fishy odor

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Characteristics of EKTACOLOR Chemicals

Characteristics of KODAK EKTACOLOR Chemical Concentrates
EKTACOLOR Chemical Part Normal Appearance Comments
Developers

Developer Replenishers

Developer Regenerator

A Clear, pale yellow; slight fishy odor Darkens with age. Darkening does not affect activity when concentrates are properly stored.
B Clear, light tan; strong sulfur odor
C Clear, colorless; odorless
Bleach-Fixes

Bleach-Fix Replenishers

A Clear, colorless; slight ammonia odor Age and/or exposure to high temperature can cause sulfurization. Severely degraded bleach-fixes have a large amount of a yellow precipitate and may have a rotten egg odor.
B Opaque, reddish-brown; slight ammonia odor
Stabilizer
Clear, brown; odorless

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Solution Storage

Solution Storage

  • Store chemical concentrates at 5 to 30°C (40 to 86°F) in a dry location. At temperatures lower than 5°C (40°F), parts may come out of solution or crystallize. Temperatures higher than 30°C (86°F) will accelerate chemical reactions and cause the concentrates to deteriorate.
  • Store mixed solutions in polyethylene storage tanks at approximately 21°C (70°F).
  • Storing a replenisher at too high a temperature accelerates oxidation and evaporation.
  • To reduce oxidation and evaporation, use floating lids on all solutions.

For best results, do not use KODAK FLEXICOLOR or EKTACOLOR Chemicals stored longer than the times given in the table below.
Mixed Solutions
Solution in Processor- No Operation
Replenisher in Covered Tank with Floating Lid
FLEXICOLOR Developer LORR
1 week
4 weeks
EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer and EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer Regenerator
1 week
3 weeks
EKTACOLOR RA Developer RT
1 week
6 weeks
All other FLEXICOLOR and EKTACOLOR Chemicals
2 weeks
8 weeks

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Compensating for Evaporation

Compensating for Evaporation

When water evaporates from processing solutions, the chemical components remain and the solutions become overconcentrated. Evaporation occurs naturally to some degree, but it is more likely to occur when tank solutions are up to temperature, but no film or paper is being processed or when solutions are cooling down after shutdown. "Down-time evaporation" occurs after you shut down your processor;

the level of your processing solutions is lower in the morning when you start up your process. When the process is running, there is also a slight loss of solution volume due to evaporation. With typical utilization, most replenishers deliver enough water to compensate for evaporation that may occur when the processor is running. However, if your processor operates at low utilization (as many minilabs typically do), evaporation may take place at a greater rate than what was built into the design of the replenisher solutions. You can compensate for "run-time evaporation" by topping off your solutions with water at a temperature that is close to the temperature of your tank solutions. Never use cold water to top-off solutions.

It is difficult to accurately estimate the amount of run-time evaporation that may occur, because minilabs generally do not have the capability of monitoring the specific gravity of processing solutions, and because there are many variables that contribute to the severity of the evaporation. Follow the procedure described on page 17 as a guideline for compensating for evaporation,

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Compensating for Evaporation

  1. At daily start-up-With the recirculation system on, check the level of the tank solutions.

If the tank solution level is not up to the top of the overflow tube, add water-at approximately operating temperature- to bring the solution level up to the top of the overflow tube.

If the solution level is at the top of the overflow tube, squirt the top edges of the tank and the rollers at the top of the rack lightly with warm water to remove any buildup of dried chemicals. Do not use too much water to avoid severely diluting the tank solution.

  1. During production-Check the level of the processing solutions at least once during the day or shift. Check the solutions when you are not processing film or paper. If the level of the tank solution is lower than the top of the tank overflow tube, add warm water until the solution is at the appropriate level.

If the solution level is at the top of the overflow tube, squirt the top edges of the tank and the rollers at the top of the rack lightly with warm water to remove any buildup of dried chemicals. Do not use too much water to avoid severely diluting the tank solution.

For minilabs that process and print less than 50 rolls of film a day repeat this step later in the day.

  1. At shutdown-Squirt the top edges of the tank, the top of the rack, and the rollers at the top of the rack lightly with warm water to avoid the buildup of dried chemicals. Do not use too much water to avoid severely diluting the tank solution. Clean and rinse crossovers thoroughly to minimize chemical buildup.

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Cleaning Tanks and Racks

Cleaning Minilab Tanks and Racks

Biological growth can occur in stabilizer and wash tanks, and is a potential source of dirt. Clean stabilizer or wash tanks weekly. Wear protective gloves and splash-proof goggles when you follow this procedure. To remove biological growth:

1. Empty the stabilizer or wash water tank. Dispose of waste solutions according to local or state disposal regulations.

2. Rinse the tanks and racks with hot water; drain the rinse water and repeat.

DANGER! The addition of cleaning agents that contain strong acids or oxidizing agents (e.g., chlorine-containing bleaches) to thiocyanate-containing photoprocessing solutions (i.e., some fixers and bleach-fix solutions), may release poisonous and flammable hydrogen cyanide gas, as well as other irritating and toxic gases, such as cyanogen chloride and sulfur dioxide. Do not add cleaning agents to processing tanks unless the tanks and racks have been completely drained and thoroughly rinsed with water. Read the Material Safety Data Sheet for information on the potential hazards of the working tank solution.

3. Fill the tank with sodium hypochlorite (NaOCI) solution, such as 2 mL Clorox (5.25 percent NaOCI) or 1 ml_ Sunny Sol (12.5 percent NaOCI) per litre of water.

4. Allow the hypochlorite solution to remain in the tanks for up to 30 minutes. Longer dwell times can damage plastic or rubber materials. After treatment, dispose of the hypochlorite solution according to local or state disposal regulations.

5. Brush foreign matter from the tanks and racks.

6. Before refilling the tanks, flush them thoroughly with water. Small amounts of remaining hypochlorite can have an adverse effect on processing solution activity. Be sure to recirculate rinse water through the recirculation system to remove traces of hypochlorite.

Note: For more information on the recommended methods for cleaning processing tanks in the U.S. and Canada, contact the KODAK Customer Assistance Center at (800) 242-2424, extension 60. For information on controlling biological growth, request a copy of KODAK Publication CIS-3, Biocides for Photographic Solution Tanks and Wash Water.

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Effluent Disposal

Disposing of Processing Effluent

Disposing of processing effluent is an important operation of your minilab. Effluent from processes using FLEXICOLOR and EKTACOLOR Chemicals consists of developer, bleach, desilvered bleach-fix, fixer, and stabilizer solutions and/or wash water. This effluent is compatible with and can be effectively treated by a municipal secondary waste-water treatment plant.

Because regulations define photographic effluent as an industrial waste discharge, you may need a permit to discharge it to a municipal sewer system.

After efficient silver recovery, the combined effluent from a minilab using Processes C-41, C-41 B, or C-41 RA and RA-4 has these characteristics:
PH 6.5 to 9
Temperature Less than 30°C (90°F)
Silver Less than 5 mg/L
Suspended solids Less than 50 mg/L
Oils, greases, or detergents None
Flammable, explosive, or toxic materials None

Concentration of other materials depends on factors such as replenishment and wash rates, type of processor, chemical regeneration, and treatment methods. For more information on the composition of photographic solutions that you use, see the Material Safety Data Sheets. If you need additional help in the U.S. and Canada, call the Kodak Customer Assistance Center at (800) 242-2424, extension 444. In other regions, contact Kodak in your country.

Wash and Washless Minilabs-A minilab that uses wash water discharges as much as 75 to 95 litres (20 to 25 gallons) of effluent for every roll of film finished. At that rate, processing 50 rolls of film daily would generate 3,800 litres (1,000 gallons) of effluent, most of which is water.

By comparison, a washless minilab that uses a stabilizer in place of wash water discharges less than 0,4 litre (0.1 gallon) of effluent for each roll of film finished or less than 19 litres (5 gallons) of effluent to finish 50 rolls of film. Washless minilabs discharge as much as 98 percent less waste volume than minilabs that use wash water, although they discharge about the same volume of processing chemicals. Therefore, disposal recommendations for washless and wash-type minilabs are the same.

For more information on the chemical components of the processing chemicals that you use, see the Material Safety Data Sheets. To request MSDSs for Kodak chemicals in the'U.S. and Canada, call (800) 242-2424, extension 43. Please supply the catalog (CAT) numbers for the chemicals when you request MSDSs.

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Effluent Disposal

Reduce Processing Effluent-To reduce the environmental impact, keep the discharge of photographic chemicals as low as possible. Some ways that you can accomplish that include:

  • Use chemicals designed to have the least environmental effect
  • Use the correct replenishment rates and check them often
  • Avoid making batch discharges, such as tank dumps
  • Discharge processing effluent to your sewer slowly by trickling it in with normal non-processing effluent
  • Desilver bleach-fix, fixer, and stabilizer overflow before you discharge it

Other Effluent Disposal Methods-Although most minilabs discharge their effluent to a municipal waste-treatment plant, restrictions or lack of access to a treatment plant may require some minilabs to use an off-site disposal service, such as the KODAK RELAY Program, for effluent disposal.

Off-Site Disposal-You can have your processing effluent removed by a licensed disposal company. The KODAK RELAY Program is a disposal service for customers who use Kodak photographic chemicals. It is offered in conjunction with the Safety-Kleen Corporation. You can participate in the RELAY Program to help you comply with waste-management regulations, especially when you cannot discharge processing effluent to a sewer.

The RELAY Program is currently available only throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. Canadian customers who need help with waste-management options can call (800) 465-6325;

other customers can call (716) 477-9428.

To participate in the RELAY Program, contact your Kodak sales representative or call the Customer Imaging Environmental Support Services at (716) 477-3194 or (716) 477-9428.

Septic-Tank Systems-The disposal of photo-processing effluent to a septic-tank system requires regulatory approval. Contact your state regulatory agency responsible for ground-water discharges to determine if you can discharge effluent to your septic system and how it should be monitored.

Note: If you have specific environmental questions about FLEXICOLOR and EKTACOLOR Chemicals in the U.S. and Canada, call the Kodak Customer Assistance Center at (800) 242-2424, extension 444. In other regions, contact Kodak in your country.

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Effluent Management

Chemical Choices and Treatment to Reduce Effluent
If You Use this KODAK Chemical At this Replenishment Rate Make this Change To Reduce this Component Use this Replenishment Rate Comments
FLEXICOLOR Bleach III Replenisher 35 mL/ 135-24 roll Convert to FLEXICOLOR Bleach III NR Replenisher (see comment) Ammonia, iron, chelates 5mL/ 135-24 roll Use only FLEXICOLOR RA Bleach and Replenisher for Process C-41RA.
FLEXICOLOR Fixer or FLEXICOLOR RA Fixer and Replenisher 35mL/ 135-24 roll Desilver fixer effluent Silver 35mL/ 135-24 roll Use only FLEXICOLOR RA Fixer and Replenisher for Process C-41RA.
EKI'ACOLOR RA Developer Replenisher RT 215 mL/m2 (20 mL/ft2) Convert to EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer Replenisher Sulfates, solids, developing agents, BOD,COD 161 mL/m2 (15 mL/ft2) Must have a tank turnover in 4 weeks or less to use EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer Replenisher.
EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer Replenisher 161 mL/m2 (15 mL/ft2) Regenerate EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer overflow with EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer Regenerator Total solids, developing agents, BOD,COD 161 mL/m2 (15 mL/ft2) EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer Regenerator allows you to reuse at least 60 percent of your original replenisher volume.
EKTACOLOR RA Bleach-Fix and Replenisher 215 mL/m2 (20 mL/ft2) Convert to EKTACOLOR PRIME Bleach-Fix Replenisher Iron, ammonia, chelates 108 mL/m2 (10 mL/ft2) Use EKTACOLOR PRIME Bleach-Fix if your utilization allows you to use EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer Replenisher.
EKTACOLOR PRIME Bleach-Fix Replenisher 108 mL/m2 (10 mL/ft2) Desilver bleach-fix effluent at pH 7.5 to 8.0 Silver 108 mL/m2 (10 mL/ft2) Use EKTACOLOR PRIME Bleach-Fix if your utilization allows you to use EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer Replenisher.

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Silver Recovery

Silver Recovery-Silver is a seasoning product of processing photographic films and papers. Sewer codes may limit the concentration of silver in effluent that may be discharged. To reduce the amount of silver in the effluent, you can desilver used fixer, bleach-fix, and stabilizer solutions with electrolytic silver-recovery cells and/or silver-recovery cartridges.

To increase electrolytic-silver recovery efficiency, adjust the pH of your bleach-fix solution to 7.5 to 8.0 before desilvering it. Use one of the chemicals in the table below to adjust the pH of the bleach-fix.
Chemical
To Adjust the pH to 7.5 to 8.0, Add to Each Litre of Bleach-Fix Overflow
28% Ammonium Hydroxide
10 mL
10N Sodium Hydroxide
13 mL
45% Potassium Hydroxide
14 mL
10% Sodium Carbonate
200 mL
10% Potassium Carbonate
300 mL
EKTACOLOR PRIME Developer Overflow
900 mL

Operate your electrolytic-recovery cell according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use as long an operation time as possible. Adjust the amperage to get a firm brown plate. After efficient electrolytic silver recovery followed by two silver-recovery cartridges (in series), the silver concentration should be less than 5 mg/L. Discharge the desilvered effluent with other processing effluent.

Solid Waste Disposal

In the U.S., Kodak has established a series of recycling programs designed to help minilabs minimize the amount of solid waste that they send to landfills. These programs, administered by Kodak as part of the KODAK ENVIROWATCH System, include-

  • KODAK Film Container Recycling Program
  • KODAK FUN SAVER 35 Camera Recycling Program
  • Paper Core Recycling Program

The terms and conditions of each program are different. For more information about these programs, contact your Kodak sales representative, or call the Kodak Customer Assistance Center at (800) 242-2424. In other regions, contact Kodak in your country.

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