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Subject: humidifier disingectant chemical cheap source

May 13, 2006, from Lloyd Erlick,

I've just been to the farmers' market
shopping, then on to the supermarket, where I
found it was swimming pool season ...

The following chemical --

N-Alkyl (40% C12, 50% C14, 10% C16) Dimethyl
Benzyl Ammonium chloride 5%

-- is being sold in a four liter jug marked
Algaecide. Well, actually, it's marked 'No
Name Liquid Algaecide', and it comes from a
supermarket called Loblaws in Toronto.

This is the cheapest common source of this
substance I've been able to find. It seems to
be a member of quite a large group of
chemicals of similar name used to control
smell causing micro-organisms. When sold as a
humidifier product, the same or similar
substances usually sell in a half-liter
container for three dollars. I paid five
dollars for four liters.

My bottle of this stuff sold as a humidifier
product does not list the concentration. I
seem to remember it is 3%. It also usually
comes with some sort of scent added; I
consider this a drawback. The scent listed on
my bottle is "clean...fresh". Descriptive,
huh? Anyway, the swimming pool product
doesn't seem to bother with such niceties.

In an algae-free swimming pool, the
instruction is to use four hundred ml per ten
thousand liters water. In a humidifier, a few
drops at every fill-up, or a table spoon per
week, should suffice.

Once diluted, the odor of this disinfectant
is very low, and disappears in a few minutes.

I know even less organic chemistry than I do
darkroom chemistry ... could someone explain
the nomenclature used for this stuff?

Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
website: www.heylloyd.com
telephone: 416-686-0326
email: portrait@heylloyd.com


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