Methanol

Started May 26, 2003 | Discussions
Cristobal Figueroa
Forum MemberPosts: 83
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Methanol
May 26, 2003

Is eclipse fluid just methanol? If it is then I see no reason why I could not use lab grade pure methanol. It is cheaper than the eclipse and more easier to obtain.
-Stobal

StuSimmo
Regular MemberPosts: 424
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Re: Methanol - BEWARE
In reply to Cristobal Figueroa, May 26, 2003

BEWARE - I also thought that methanol was a good idea and working at a chemical company it was easy to try my first CCD clean with analytical grade. The CCD was left very smeary and despite cleaning several times would not clean. In the end I had to have the CCD (D100) cleaned professionally by Fixation in London. They were excellent took 10 mins and declared the CCD had not been damaged.

I downloaded the Health and Safety sheet for Eclipse cleaner and there is a difference in the flash point to Methanol. Its only marginal but it looks as though there is something else in there.

I now use the Eclipse cleaner and have had no problems.

Hope this helps,

Stu

Cristobal Figueroa wrote:

Is eclipse fluid just methanol? If it is then I see no reason why
I could not use lab grade pure methanol. It is cheaper than the
eclipse and more easier to obtain.
-Stobal

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Roger Rowlett
New MemberPosts: 3
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Methanol is not all methanol...
In reply to Cristobal Figueroa, May 26, 2003

To clean optics you need spectrophotometric grade methanol, which is nearly anhydrous and free from nonvolatile impurities. Tech grade or ACS grade methanol is not pure enough for optical cleaning. Spectrophotometric grade methanol usually comes by the gallon, is very expensive, and difficult to obtain unless you work in the chemistry profession. Alternatively, you could just buy Eclipse solution, which will last you practically forever for cleaning the D100 AA filter.

Cheers.

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Cristobal Figueroa
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Re: Methanol is not all methanol...
In reply to Roger Rowlett, May 26, 2003

Yeah I understand that, the only reason I would say cheaper and easier is both my parents work in biochemical research and have a large stock of very highgrade methanol. I will have to double check if it is stectrophotometer grade methanol.

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Stobal

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Pernel S Thyseldew
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Re: Methanol is not all methanol...
In reply to Cristobal Figueroa, May 27, 2003

My uncle has access to gallons of left over methanol from the Indy 500, can I use it to clean my D100 Ccd??

If yes, how?

:-)_
--
Pernel Pixel is Pure Digital Now

D-1 - D100 - 45mm f2.8P - 60mm f2.8 - 17-35mm f.2.8 - Oly C5050z (new pocket pal)
Past Life: lost TWO Nikon SP's !@^@! - F's - Ftn's - Nikormat EL

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martin555
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99.8% methanol is it good enough?
In reply to StuSimmo, May 27, 2003

99.8% methanol is it good enough?

martin

StuSimm wrote:
BEWARE - I also thought that methanol was a good idea and working
at a chemical company it was easy to try my first CCD clean with
analytical grade. The CCD was left very smeary and despite cleaning
several times would not clean. In the end I had to have the CCD
(D100) cleaned professionally by Fixation in London. They were
excellent took 10 mins and declared the CCD had not been damaged.

I downloaded the Health and Safety sheet for Eclipse cleaner and
there is a difference in the flash point to Methanol. Its only
marginal but it looks as though there is something else in there.

I now use the Eclipse cleaner and have had no problems.

Hope this helps,

Stu

Cristobal Figueroa wrote:

Is eclipse fluid just methanol? If it is then I see no reason why
I could not use lab grade pure methanol. It is cheaper than the
eclipse and more easier to obtain.
-Stobal

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Leif Olstrup
Contributing MemberPosts: 761
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Re: Methanol
In reply to Cristobal Figueroa, May 27, 2003

Cristobal Figueroa wrote:

Is eclipse fluid just methanol? If it is then I see no reason why
I could not use lab grade pure methanol. It is cheaper than the
eclipse and more easier to obtain.

I too would like to know alternatives to the Eclipse fluid. Alternately I would like to know if anyone knows of an European distributor. The problem is you can't get it shipped from USA to Europe, because flammable fluids are not allowed in air mail (and all mail from USA to Europe is airmail these days).

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casso
New MemberPosts: 11
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Re: Methanol
In reply to Leif Olstrup, May 27, 2003

what about lighter fluid?

Leif Olstrup wrote:

Cristobal Figueroa wrote:

Is eclipse fluid just methanol? If it is then I see no reason why
I could not use lab grade pure methanol. It is cheaper than the
eclipse and more easier to obtain.

I too would like to know alternatives to the Eclipse fluid.
Alternately I would like to know if anyone knows of an European
distributor. The problem is you can't get it shipped from USA to
Europe, because flammable fluids are not allowed in air mail (and
all mail from USA to Europe is airmail these days).

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Leif Olstrup
Contributing MemberPosts: 761
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Re: Methanol
In reply to casso, May 27, 2003

casso wrote:

what about lighter fluid?

It certainly cleans and degreases. I use it for cleaning bicykle tubes before applying patches to punctures. But I doubt it is clean enough - after all it's only meant for burning. If it is not clean enough, it will leave streks on the CCD.

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Holger
Junior MemberPosts: 30
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Try it here: www.micro-tools.de
In reply to Leif Olstrup, May 27, 2003

Leif Olstrup wrote:

Cristobal Figueroa wrote:

Is eclipse fluid just methanol? If it is then I see no reason why
I could not use lab grade pure methanol. It is cheaper than the
eclipse and more easier to obtain.

I too would like to know alternatives to the Eclipse fluid.
Alternately I would like to know if anyone knows of an European
distributor. The problem is you can't get it shipped from USA to
Europe, because flammable fluids are not allowed in air mail (and
all mail from USA to Europe is airmail these days).

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Leif Olstrup
Contributing MemberPosts: 761
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Re: Try it here: www.micro-tools.de
In reply to Holger, May 27, 2003

Thanks a lot. I have been looking for a supplier in Europe for a long time.

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JLow
Junior MemberPosts: 32
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Re: Methanol is not all methanol...
In reply to Roger Rowlett, May 27, 2003

If Eclipse is high quality methanol then it will by definition not last forever. The reason is that all alcohol (including methanol) is hygroscopic in nature - this means that it tends to absorb water, in this case from the air and will eventually get "wet". One way to avoid this is to always seal the container well. However, since some air always gets in when you open the bottle, this will only delay the invertible.

Whether this poses a problem for CCD cleaning is not known to me. I think if the CCD is sealed well, this may be OK as the excess moisture will eventually evaporate. However, if the CCD is not completely sealed, then the water may get trapped inside to result in oxidation (rusting) and potentially may also cause a short.

Roger Rowlett wrote:

To clean optics you need spectrophotometric grade methanol, which
is nearly anhydrous and free from nonvolatile impurities. Tech
grade or ACS grade methanol is not pure enough for optical
cleaning. Spectrophotometric grade methanol usually comes by the
gallon, is very expensive, and difficult to obtain unless you work
in the chemistry profession. Alternatively, you could just buy
Eclipse solution, which will last you practically forever for
cleaning the D100 AA filter.

Cheers.

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Cristobal Figueroa
Forum MemberPosts: 83
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Re: Methanol
In reply to Cristobal Figueroa, May 28, 2003

I have figured out a little more information on the methanol available to me. It is HPLC, high performance liquid chromatography grade, leaving less than 3 ppm residue after evaporating, 99.9% pure with > .1% water. Would this be ok. Here is a link to the web site,

https://www1.fishersci.com/catalogs/chemgroup.jsp?catalogParamId=6342976&catalogParamType=CG
--
Stobal

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revaaron
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,585
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$8... ok...
In reply to Cristobal Figueroa, May 28, 2003

when an $8 bottle will last you the life of the camera, what does it matter?

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Baywing
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Lighter Fluid..
In reply to Leif Olstrup, May 28, 2003

leaves a residual behind. I use it to clean oil and diesel fuel blow-by off my windshield, but I have to follow it up with a heavy-duty glass cleaner. I wouldn't want to try it on my CCD.

casso wrote:

what about lighter fluid?

It certainly cleans and degreases. I use it for cleaning bicykle
tubes before applying patches to punctures. But I doubt it is clean
enough - after all it's only meant for burning. If it is not clean
enough, it will leave streks on the CCD.

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Baywing
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,245
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Really....
In reply to revaaron, May 28, 2003

I'm more peeved about the $80 AC adapter!

revaaron wrote:

when an $8 bottle will last you the life of the camera, what does
it matter?

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Cliff Kline
Regular MemberPosts: 435
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Do I need the AC adaptor?
In reply to Baywing, May 28, 2003

I had a hair on my CCD, so I selected bulb and pressed the shutter. Once the mirror was up, I gently blew the hair away.

I had the shutter open for 30 seconds or so.

So is the purpose of the adaptor to allow you to keep the mirror up for the few minutes it would take to clean the CCD or is there another reason, I need to use the adaptor? Why could I not just hold the shutter open?

Thanks for the input.

Cliff

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Joe Orsini
Regular MemberPosts: 156
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Methanol (CH3OH + ??)
In reply to Cliff Kline, May 28, 2003

Hey all:

I never thought I would see discussions here about flash points, boiling points and vapor pressures.

As some previous poster correctly stated, methanol, as well as other "short" alcohols is highly hygroscopic.

HPLC MeOH still has around 500 to 700 ppm of water, which may be too high for use with the CCD.

I'm not sure about the contents of the Eclipse solution, but it may have MeOH plus some other higher vapor pressure compound which helps in a faster evaporation, which in turn may lead to less residue.

I would not encourage purchasing gallons of MeOH (of any grade) since this will probably result in a waste of money and an unnecessary risk. Don't forget the physical properties and inherent risks such as low flash point, LEL and UEL, and specially, toxicity. If you have kids or pets this is a NO NO to have at home in large quantities.

Also, whenever disposal is required, MeOH wastes are hazardous wastes listed under RCRA (USA), which in turn will require special (read expensive) disposal measures.

Hope this helps!

Cliff Kline wrote:

I had a hair on my CCD, so I selected bulb and pressed the shutter.
Once the mirror was up, I gently blew the hair away.

I had the shutter open for 30 seconds or so.

So is the purpose of the adaptor to allow you to keep the mirror up
for the few minutes it would take to clean the CCD or is there
another reason, I need to use the adaptor? Why could I not just
hold the shutter open?

Thanks for the input.

Cliff

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russ t
Forum MemberPosts: 82
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No it won't
In reply to Cristobal Figueroa, May 28, 2003

From some second hand experience of exactly this I'd say that HPLC grade methanol is definitely not good enough Cristobal, which is surprising considering the quoted quality on the bottle.

My take on this is that when spending all this money on a camera you really don't want to mess around it to save a few euros/quid/dollars. The CCD is one of the most important parts of the camera. They get dirty and therefore incur relatively small but regular maintenance costs. If you bought a Ferrari, would you put re-conditioned tyres on it?
Cheers

Russ

Cristobal Figueroa wrote:

I have figured out a little more information on the methanol
available to me. It is HPLC, high performance liquid
chromatography grade, leaving less than 3 ppm residue after
evaporating, 99.9% pure with > .1% water. Would this be ok. Here
is a link to the web site,

https://www1.fishersci.com/catalogs/chemgroup.jsp?catalogParamId=6342976&catalogParamType=CG
--
Stobal

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Cristobal Figueroa
Forum MemberPosts: 83
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Re: Methanol
In reply to Cristobal Figueroa, May 29, 2003

Hey guys I appreciate the input this was never supposed to get into such a big discussion. The deal was I needed some eclipse and ordered some but am leaving town for a month on saturday. My eclipse is not going to be in on time because it has to be shipped via ground. I just wanted to know if I could get by with the Methanol that my parents use in their lab. I was not going to buy gallons of the stuff!!!! They already have lots of it I was just gonna snag a couple onces. So everybody settle and thanks for the advice.
Stobal

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