Removing emulsion

From: JEFFREY PAULL (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Jun 05 2009 - 15:29:29 PDT

It is possible to remove the B&W emulsion - the picture material - and leave the clear gelatin intact.
The gelatin will absorb water soluble transparent dyes (Dr. Martin's, for example).
B&W image silver can be removed by soaking it in a solution of Potassium ferricyanide whcih you would find at a photo store still selling darkroom stuff,
or from a supplier. Try a teaspoon of the (pretty) orange powder to a gallon of water. When image is very light or has disappeared, dunk/rinse in water,
and submerge in photo fixer for about 5 minutes. (photo store that sells darkroom stuff)
Potassium ferricyanide has that cyanide component tightly attached to the potassium, so it's safe to use.
However: rubber gloves, and don't let it sit around in bright light. Bright light only, will eventually disassociate the potqassium from the ferricyanide.
Otherwise it is stable. There are no fumes either.

To remove the emulsion (colour or B&W) and the gelatin as well, without using chlorine bleach,
3 things in any combination help this process along:
   - heat, so hot soak speeds things up,
   - time, so the soak may need overnight.
   - alkalinity also speeds things up
                          Sodium Metaborate which Kodak sells under the name of "Kodalk balanced alkali",
                          Potassium Carbonate,
                          Sodium Phosphate aka Trisodium Phosphate, You can get this as a heavy dutry cleaner in a hardware store.
                                                                                                            Follow package directions and cautions.

Jefffrey Paull

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.