The Extraction and Infrared Identification of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) from Aqueous Solutions

    Volume 49, Issue 1 (January 2004)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 17 December 2003

    Page Count: 8


    Meyn, AW
    Drug Enforcement Administration, Western Laboratory, San Francisco, CA

    Chappell, JS
    Drug Enforcement Administration, Western Laboratory, San Francisco, CA

    Ngim, KK
    Drug Enforcement Administration, Western Laboratory, San Francisco, CA

    (Received 19 May 2003; accepted 24 August 2003)

    Abstract

    The chemical analysis of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) in most forensic laboratories is complicated by the highly polar nature of the GHB molecule, which makes it unsuitable for direct analysis by gas chromatography (GC). Consequently, a popular analytical approach is to convert GHB into the corresponding lactone or a derivative compound that is then identified by mass spectrometry employed in conjunction with GC (GC/MS). An alternative approach is presented here where GHB may be isolated as a free acid specie from complex aqueous solutions employing a liquid-liquid extraction technique. This approach can yield a relatively pure residue of GHB that presents an infrared transmission spectrum that is sufficiently distinct for identification purposes. Infrared spectroscopy (IR) is a very popular technique that is available to most crime laboratories. The liquid-liquid extraction behavior of GHB is examined in detail and the uniqueness of the infrared spectrum is discussed.


    Paper ID: JFS2003175

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS2003175

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    Title The Extraction and Infrared Identification of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) from Aqueous Solutions
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30