Differentiation of Illicit Phenyl-2-Propanone Synthesized from Phenylacetic Acid with Acetic Anhydride Versus Lead (II) Acetate

    Volume 37, Issue 1 (January 1992)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Page Count: 22


    Allen, AC
    Medicinal chemist, Division of Biochemistry, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC

    Stevenson, ML
    Senior forensic chemist, cooperative training student, and senior forensic chemist, respectively, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Western Laboratory, San Francisco, CA

    Ely, RA
    Senior forensic chemist, cooperative training student, and senior forensic chemist, respectively, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Western Laboratory, San Francisco, CA

    Nakamura, SM
    Senior forensic chemist, cooperative training student, and senior forensic chemist, respectively, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Western Laboratory, San Francisco, CA

    (Received 7 March 1991; accepted 19 April 1991)

    Abstract

    The illicit synthesis of phenyl-2-propanone (P2P) in clandestine drug laboratories from phenylacetic acid and acetic anhydride in the presence of sodium acetate or pyridine, or from the dry distillation of phenylacetic acid and lead (II) acetate is examined. These two routes are investigated using capillary gas chromatography (GC) combined with vapor-phase Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and electron impact mass spectrometry (EIMS) detection (GC-FTIR-EIMS), and using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to identify 21 reaction by-products. The mechanisms of the two reactions producing P2P are presented, along with the mechanisms giving rise to these by-products. This investigation has identified 4 reaction-specific compounds which can be used to differentiate the two synthetic methods.


    Paper ID: JFS13235J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS13235J

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    Title Differentiation of Illicit Phenyl-2-Propanone Synthesized from Phenylacetic Acid with Acetic Anhydride Versus Lead (II) Acetate
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30