Journal Published Online: 01 November 1999
Volume 44, Issue 6

Application of Solid-Phase Microextraction to the Profiling of an Illicit Drug: Manufacturing Impurities in Illicit 4-Methoxyamphetamine



This article describes the application of solid-phase microextraction (SPME) to the recovery of manufacturing by-products and impurities from an illicit drug seizure. The preparation chosen for examination using this technique contained 4-methoxyamphetamine, an hallucinogenic amphetamine that has been encountered frequently in South Australia.

Compounds found in the PMA preparation included 4-methoxyphenol, 4-methoxybenzaldehyde, 4-methoxyphenyl-2-propanone, 4-methoxyphenyl-2-propanol, 4-methoxyphenylpropene, and (tentatively) 4-methyl-5-(4′-methoxyphenyl)pyrimidine. The presence of these compounds suggests that the active drug was prepared from 4-methoxybenzaldehyde via 4-methoxyphenyl-2-propanone using a Leuckardt reductive amination.

In this instance, SPME was found to be a simple, rapid, and non-destructive recovery technique that gave results complementary to those provided by conventional liquid-liquid extraction. There is an indication that SPME might find application in profiling of illicit drugs.

Author Information

Coumbaros, JC
University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia
Paul Kirkbride, K
Forensic Science, Adelaide, South Australia
Klass, G
University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia
Pages: 6
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: JFS14594J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS14594J