Volume 37, Issue 5 (September 1992)
Methyl Esters of Ecgonine: Injection-Port Produced Artifacts from Cocaine Base (Crack) Exhibits
Many cocaine base (crack) exhibits contain traces of sodium bicarbonate. Pseudoecgonine methyl ester and ecgonine methyl ester are formed as artifacts from the effect of sodium bicarbonate and methanol in the injection port of a gas chromatograph. Formation of ecgonine methyl esters was confirmed by comparison to known standards via gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The mechanisms for artifact formation are hydrolysis of cocaine, followed by esterification and trans-esterification/base catalyzed epimerization.