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Jabbawaya
11-09-2005, 02:36
I am a university student and am probably going to major in chemistry/pharmacology. Out of curiosity, I was wondering what level of education LSD and MDMA chemists needed to achieve before being able to produce such products without too much difficulty? These aren't things that just anyone can get up and make, after all.

subdefy
11-09-2005, 04:36
You don't neccessarily need a level of education. Many chemists are self-taught!

lifeisforliving
11-09-2005, 04:51
MDMA? 1 year chemistry would be more than enough to understand.

LSD? No idea. Hard.

BilZ0r
11-09-2005, 05:25
It's more about the skills in getting the equipment/chemicals needed for the synth without getting caught as far as I was concerned.

Frac
11-09-2005, 05:26
I don't think very much formal education would be required to understand the principles of synthesis of either MDMA or LSD. What would be important would be hands-on practice in the various techniques required.

I'm sure there's a lot of non-chemists on here could run circles around the degreed chemists/pharmacologists. It depends on the person...how good are they with their hands, are they patient, and do they think logically.

Think of it this way...if you were asking what it took to be able to rebuild a car engine....it wouldn't be a theoretical understanding of the internal combustion process. What makes a good mechanic is the number of things they've actually fixed.

lifeisforliving
11-09-2005, 05:30
I would also say that:

For MDMA use you are using relatively large equipment and large amoutns chemicals/solvents.

For LSD it is all micro in comparison.

Depends on how your setup is.. and what you have access to.

kaoskid
11-09-2005, 06:15
no no no no no, for making lsd at even moderate purity requires lots, and i mean LOTS, of hands on lab experience. i'd say about three years of college level organic chem (at least). even the simplest synthesis for lsd also requires access to some dangerous and hard to get chemicals (i.e phosphorus oxychloride, or POCL3, which is also used in the production of war gases such as sarin and VX) as well as a completely light-free lab. not simple, not easy, if you want easy then go with mdma or methcathinone (at least those you can make with chemicals that won't kill you if they get on your hand). however, if you do major in Organic chem. and Pharmacology you should have no trouble (doing the synthesis at least, if you can get POCL3 without the feds knocking down your front door then your only worry is trying to get lysergic acid without a hassle [i'd like to see you try, ha!]).

Limpet Chicken
11-09-2005, 06:41
MDMA, if one isolates or synthesizes safrole, is EASY to make, relative to LSD, a simple performic oxidation followed by reduction of the ketone and bobs yer fucking uncle.

andruejaysin
11-09-2005, 08:09
MDMA is relatively simple, within the reach of most meth cooks, given the right info, and acsess to the chemicals. LSD is a VERY different matter, relatively high degree of knowledge, and acsess to some VERY closely watched chemicals.

Jabbawaya
11-09-2005, 08:14
Too bad Rhodium and the Hive are gone. Those were good. Now it's all up to Google for synths, huh? (Or PiKHAL/TiKHAL, though I'm sure there are simpler synths out there)

andruejaysin
11-09-2005, 08:21
I think erowid has that archived, I'm not sure but you might check.

andruejaysin
11-09-2005, 08:24
Just checked It's there under " synethical and phyco- whatthe fuck ever" Obviously, I spelled that wrong, but you'll figure it out, I'm sure.

phase_dancer
11-09-2005, 09:04
however, if you do major in Organic chem. and Pharmacology you should have no trouble (doing the synthesis at least, if you can get POCL3 without the feds knocking down your front door then your only worry is trying to get lysergic acid without a hassle [i'd like to see you try, ha!]).

If you do an applied chem degree you might also learn enough inorganic chem to make phosphorous oxychloride.


A low yielding and possibly the worst approach

PCl3 + Br2 --> PCL2Br2

PCL2Br2 + SO2 --> SOBr2 + POCl2

After distilling the SOBr2 the residue byproduct is POCL3 at ~10-15%. This can then be carefully distilled.

But phosphorous oxychloride can also be made from tribasic calcium phosphate and silica and coke in a furnace. If you can't get the tribasic phosphate salt you can always make that via calcium hydroxide and phosphoric acid

2H3PO4 + 3Ca(OH)2 → Ca3(PO4)2 + 6H2O

Ca3(PO4)2 + 3SiO2 → 3CaSiO3 + P2O5
P2O5 + 5C → 2P + 5 CO

Reacting with the phosphorous product with stoichiometric amounts of chlorine produces PCL3, and excess chlorine produces PCL5


P4(s) + 6Cl2(g) --> 4PCl3 (l)

P4 (s) + 10Cl2 (g) --> 4PCl5 (s)

Phosphorous oxychloride can then be easily produced by reaction with the trichloride with either sulphur trioxide or potassium chlorate

PCl3 + SO3 --> POCl3 + SO2

3PCl3 + KClO3 --> 3POCl3 + KCl

As mentioned, the pentachloride can be hydrolyzed to POCL3, but with water, it's likely much will be further hydrolyzed to phosphoric acid (back to where we started from)

PCl5 + H2O --> POCl3 + 2HCl

PCl5 + 4H2O --> H3PO4 + 5HCl

Best procedure is probably from reaction with either boric acid or oxalic acid

3PCl5 + 2B(OH)3 --> 3POCl3 + B2O3 + 6HCl

PCl5 + (COOH)2 --> POCl3 + CO + CO2 + 2HCl

As can be seen, most of the steps are practically over the counter as far as ingredients are concerned, and where not, these reactants can be made via OTC routes.


Ref: mostly from H.Book of Inorganic Chemistry by Pradyot Patnaik



As for MDMA being easy, the whole procedure is way easier than for LSD as has been mentioned. Using the peracetic method (ala Chromic) the whole procedure is totally over the counter. And tweaked just right, reports are that it is just as high yielding as the performic.

Frac
11-09-2005, 10:34
Originally posted by phase_dancer
As for MDMA being easy, the whole procedure is way easier than for LSD as has been mentioned. Using the peracetic method (ala Chromic) the whole procedure is totally over the counter. And tweaked just right, reports are that it is just as high yielding as the performic.
My impression is that the major difficulties in doing a synthesis of LSD is having skills at preparative chromatography and obtaining a significant amount of pure ergotamine or ergocristine. There's also the issue of stability. But it's not the limitation in getting POCl3 or some other coupling reagent such as DCC as these are fairly common chemicals in organic synthesis labs.

MDMA synthesis certainly requires a significantly higher level of skill than that shown by 'most' meth cooks....e.g. vacuum distillation. As for getting to MDP2P from safrole, I think there's good reasons to believe the Wacker oxidation has made the routes through isosafrole somewhat obsolete. So in effect, peracid (performic/peracetic) oxidation of isosafrole to MDP2P wouldn't be the issue anymore.

See the editor's note in the following Microgram Bulletin:

MDMA LABORATORY SEIZED IN NASHVILLE (http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/programs/forensicsci/microgram/mg0704/mg0704.html)

Of course, this might be a regional thing but I doubt it. One of the key conclusions of this paper (http://journalsip.astm.org/jofs/PAGES/4334.htm) was the following:

"Of the 416 cases taken for GC-MS analyses, a total of 341 cases were found to contain traces amounts of impurities such as 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone (MDP2P), 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanol (MDP), 3,4-methylenedioxybenzylamine (MDB) and/or piperonal. The presence of these impurities strongly suggested that the MDMA found in Hong Kong in 2001 was predominantly synthesized via the key intermediate, MDP2P, which in turn was prepared from piperonal."

Now wouldn't it be somewhat amusing in light of that conclusion if the Wacker oxidation of safrole produced piperonal and MDP as by-products in addition to MDP2P as the main product?

Smyth
11-09-2005, 10:46
MDMA is actually not THAT difficult to manufacture. Admittedly an underground chemist would have to distill their own sassafras which is a pain but it is still ok. Seriously, that guy Eleusis was an English major. Does that give you an indication of the difficulty of the procedure? A few years ago I thought he must have been some sort of genius to be cooking up a batch of MDMA. In the event that somebody wishes to follow in his footsteps, make sure all your chemicals are pure (not photograde and hobbyshop bullshit) and you can improvise a little and follow the directions exactly.

phase_dancer
11-09-2005, 10:47
Now wouldn't it be somewhat amusing in light of that conclusion if the Wacker oxidation of safrole produced piperonal and MDP as by-products in addition to MDP2P as the main product?

Yes, but there's no reason to think piperonal isn't employed in MDMA manufacture, particularly on a large scale. Piperonal itself has more uses than safrole and iso, so can likely be easily diverted to MDMA manufacture. The perfume industry uses tons of the stuff and it's very cheap at ~ 40US/ kg.

Nitroethane, despite what people think is also very easy to obtain. It's currently being used as an experimental propellent in Aus aeronautics. I've seen a jet ranger fitted with a special tank for ETHNO2 as a performance additive [?]. Or at least that's what I gathered it was for. Anyway it was filled at a local airport.

The wacker methods can have their problems, but I haven't time to go into that now. In some methods, 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanol as an impurity was one of them.

Are you going to leave your good work this time Frac? ;) I never had time to grab those last graphs you put up

blase deviant
11-09-2005, 11:58
When you have that much chem experience, do you know enough to come up with BS reasons for wanting the chemicals?

As far as Hive alternatives, what was that synthetikal site? I tried synthetikal.org, and nothing.

On a sidenote, I was pleasantly surprised when someone posted something (pretty basic, but still) in here the other day, and I understood.

:)

Frac
11-09-2005, 12:07
You're right, the perfume industry uses tons of piperonal and it's cheap. Essential oils containing safrole are also cheap and commonly used. To be honest with you, they come to mind as being more available than piperonal at least on a small scale.

Perhaps the main synthetic routes being used really do depend on scale. I don't know anything about meth, but I get the impression its spread in production is due to the dissemination of specific techniques applicable to a small scale. This is similar to what occurred in the early 80's with crack cocaine in that a simple technique for producing freebase without a volatile solvent got passed around and ended up producing a cottage industry. In the past, the crack cocaine technique spread between urban centers first as this was the fundamental path of communication. Now with meth and easy communication on the internet, it's not localized in urban centers anymore. It's a meme I've thought about concerning changing patterns of drug use and production.

The nitrostyrene intermediate you'd produce using nitroethane/piperonal doesn't seem to be commonly found as an impurity in MDMA, albeit an easy reaction to do. Considering the somewhat difficult reduction of it to MDMA, it likely would be if commonly used.

I'd rather like to think that these forensic chemists concluding that MDMA is being sourced from piperonal might not be correct, and they're not catching a changing trend to the use of the Wacker oxidation as was indicated in the Microgram bulletin. I think their conclusion based simply on the presence of piperonal, 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanol, and 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylbenzylamine as common impurities in pills isn't that strong.

No, I think I'll leave my comments up this time...what I posted before (graphs etc.) was just a bit too much to stay within the guidelines of this forum as I see it.

C6H6
11-09-2005, 15:05
I don't know why people think that a LSD synthesis is a difficult thing. There are now lots of convenient methods available for the formation of the amide. That's a one-pot synthesis. Chromatographic pruification is also very simple: dissolve the crude LSD in 3:1 C6H6:CCl3, pour on a column of alumina, develop with the same solvent and follow the process with an UV lamp (like it's used to test bank notes).

The real challenge is to get some material that contains lysergic acid. Alternatively, a total synthesis could be done, but that's not really feasible in most cases. It's also possible to make LSD from non-controlled precursors, like elymoclavine (see Rhodium archive), but there it gets rather complicated again.

And the easiest route to MDMA on a small scale is by reduction of methylone with the Huang-Minlon modification of the Wolff-Kishner method.

Frac
11-09-2005, 20:48
February 5, 2004

WARRANT FOR LSD LAB EXECUTED IN SEATTLE; ONE MAN ARRESTED

John McKay, United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington and John M. Bott, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Seattle Field Division, announced today that federal agents and local law enforcement officers in Seattle have executed a federal search warrant on a suspected LSD manufacturing operation located inside a residence in central Seattle, and arrested one person.

Earlier today, agents and officers with the DEA, Seattle Police Department, King County Sheriff"s Office, and the Eastside Narcotics Task Force executed search and arrest warrants at a residence located at 1923 10th Ave. East, Seattle, Washington. They arrested the 37 year-old resident, GLENN C. SLAYDEN. SLAYDEN is charged in a two-count Complaint filed yesterday in United States District Court, alleging Attempted Manufacture of LSD and Attempted Possession of Ergotamine Tartrate, a Listed Chemical, with the Intent to Manufacture a Controlled Substance (listed chemicals are federally regulated because of their potential for illicit use). SLAYDEN will have an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate today. A detention hearing for SLAYDEN will likely be held in three to five days.

According to Court records, the charges against SLAYDEN arose out of the government's investigation into an internet inquiry about obtaining a large quantity of the LSD precursor chemical, ergotamine tartrate. Subsequent investigation uncovered the alleged plan to obtain enough precursor chemicals to manufacture LSD at a laboratory assembled in the residence.

According to DEA chemists, the manufacture of LSD can result in emission of hazardous materials. The DEA and other authorities instituted hazardous materials protocols during the search in order to ensure the safety of law enforcement officers and the public. These actions were taken as precautionary measures based on the hazardous nature of some of the chemicals associated with the manufacture of LSD. Units from the Seattle Fire Department and Seattle Emergency Medical Services were stationed on scene to support the execution of the search warrant.

As charged in the Complaint, the offense of Attempted Manufacture of LSD is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten years and up to life, a fine of up to four million dollars, a term of supervised release of at least five years, and a special assessment of one hundred dollars. The offense of Attempted Possession of a Listed Chemical is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to twenty years, a fine of up to $250,000, a term of supervised release of up to five years, and a special assessment of $100.

Members of the public are reminded that an Indictment contains only a charge. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charge and it will be the government's burden to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

Frac
11-09-2005, 20:52
News Release
April 12, 2004

Seattle Man Pleads Guilty to
Attempted Manufacture of LSD
* * * * * *
Chemicals and Manufacturing Equipment
Seized at his Capitol Hill Residence

John McKay, United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington announced that today GLENN C. SLAYDEN, age 37, of Seattle, entered a guilty plea in United States District Court in Seattle to one count of Attempted Manufacture of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD). SLAYDEN faces a maximum statutory term of imprisonment of 20 years, three years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Coughenour in Seattle on June 25, 2004. As part of the plea agreement, SLAYDEN will also forfeit $100,000 in cash in lieu of his million-dollar Capitol Hill home, which was subject to forfeiture in its entirety as property used to facilitate the commission of the drug offense.

Court records show that between October, 2003, and January 29, 2004, SLAYDEN engaged in a series of recorded internet and telephone communications with a United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informant in an attempt to purchase ergotamine tartrate, a List I controlled chemical which is an essential chemical in the manufacture of LSD. On February 5, 2004, an undercover DEA Agent posing as the ergotamine tartrate delivery person contacted SLAYDEN and stated that he was at a downtown Seattle hotel and that he had the “package.” SLAYDEN came straight to the hotel and approached the undercover agent, and was subsequently arrested.

Court documents also show that on the same day, DEA agents executed a Federal search warrant at SLAYDEN’s home on 10th Avenue East in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle. Agents discovered numerous items consistent with an attempt to create an LSD laboratory, including chemicals, laboratory equipment, glassware, and reference books containing instructions for the manufacture of LSD. Based on the amount and nature of the precursor chemicals SLAYDEN possessed or attempted to obtain, the nature, size, and sophistication of the laboratory equipment in his possession, and his presumed level of knowledge, the evidence suggests that he was capable of producing at least 800 milligrams but less than 1 gram of LSD. According to DEA agents, a typical single dose of LSD is approximately 50 -100 micrograms.

The manufacture of LSD can result in emission of hazardous materials. As a precaution, the DEA and other authorities instituted hazardous materials protocols during the search, blocking off the street for several hours in order to ensure the safety of law enforcement officers and the public. Units from the Seattle Fire Department and Seattle Emergency Medical Services were stationed on scene to support the execution of the search warrant, which was conducted by specially trained agents in the King County and DEA Clandestine Laboratory Teams. All potentially contaminated materials were destroyed after the search, and no dangerous emissions were detected at the scene.

illuminati boy
11-09-2005, 22:29
Taken from the DEA Microgram Bulletin VOL. XXXVII, NO. 3 (March 2004).

"
LSD LABORATORY IN HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA

Chemists from the DEA Mid-Atlantic Laboratory (Largo, Maryland) recently participated in the seizure of a boxed polydrug laboratory in Harrisonburg, Virginia, suspected to be for production of methamphetamine, MDMA, and LSD. The storage boxes were seized from an apartment by agents from the DEA Winchester (Virginia) Post of Duty. The exhibits included a variety of chemicals and glassware, including numerous petri dishes and plastic cups containing fungal growth (see Photos 7 and 8). Analysis and evaluation indicated that the clandestine laboratory operator (a biology student at a local University) was attempting to produce lysergic acid from an uncommonly used strain of ergot fungus, Claviceps Paspali, and appeared to be in the early stages of determining optimal growth media and conditions. The chemicals, extensive literature, and notes found at the site confirmed that the operator was following the lysergic acid, N,N-carbonyldiimidazole, diethylamine synthesis (production routes for methamphetamine and MDMA not specified). All necessary chemicals needed for the syntheses of all three substances were present; however, no final products were recovered at the site. This was the first LSD laboratory encountered by laboratory personnel.

"

Apparently maybe biology students might be educated enough.

Frac
11-09-2005, 23:29
I recall that report, in particular the use of the N,N-carbonyldiimidazole as the coupling reagent.

The other point to be noted from that report was that it was a "boxed" laboratory.

You can classify drug labs in these three catagories:
__________________________________

THREE BASIC TYPES OF CLAN LABS

1. OPERATIONAL LABORATORY

This is a clan lab that is in the process of "cooking" (synthesis or blending of chemical ingredients). This is the most dangerous stage because some of the chemicals used can be unstable and highly reactive with other elements. During the "cook" blending or synthesis toxic gasses are released, a fire or an explosion could occur.

2. NON-OPERATIONAL LABORATORY

This clan lab has been just set up to begin a cook but has not started the process yet. It can also be a clan lab that has just completed a cook and has not been dismantled.

A clan lab in this stage should not be considered less dangerous than an operational laboratory.

You may find chemicals not stored or out of their original containers, contaminated glassware, chemical/acid spills and chemical residue that might ignite from friction/ heat, exposure to air or water.

3. BOXED LABORATORY

The boxed laboratory is one that has been dismantled and put away. Again, this is still a dangerous situation. You may find chemicals not stored or out of their original containers, contaminated glassware, chemical/acid spills and chemical residue that might ignite from friction/ heat, exposure to air or water.
______________________________

Which type do you think accounts for the majority of arrests? It's the "boxed" laboratory at over 60%. Think about that for a minute.

GLENN C. SLAYDEN (http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=6096) was a jazz pianist and IT consulant with no training as a chemist. He was set away for a very long time for just serious thinking about trying to make acid....he never made any.

The moral of the story is don't be stupid and try this. The penaties are very harsh and you don't have to be actually operating a lab or succeeding in making something to face serious consequences.

Jabbawaya
12-09-2005, 04:11
Many people strongly believe that it's worth the risk to spread the love.

narrative0
12-09-2005, 06:08
I don't know much about industry, but presumably someone with the training and ability to manufacture LSD could get a well-paying, respectable job that carried no risk of going to jail.

kaoskid
12-09-2005, 06:21
phase_dancer, i'm assuming that you are not suggesting that that POCL3 synthesis be done without a fume hood and a good deal of precaution. some of those things are rather caustic, though i'm sure you already knew that, but, compared to the reagent that hoffman used (anhydrous hydrazine [N2H4], yay let's all go and melt our fingers off shall we!:)), they're relatively safe.

Limpet Chicken
12-09-2005, 06:30
Hoffman had bollocks, messing with anhydrous hydrazine, the damn stuff can drop your blood pressure like a sack of bricks off a cliff, and not to mention, mere traces of metal ions or ground glass joints are likely to cause it to spontaneously detonate, I would handle anhydrous N2H4 as carefully as I would crystalline perchloric anhydride=D

kaoskid
12-09-2005, 07:01
yeah, it's really nasty shite, it's what they used to power german V2 rockets (along with H2O2, can anyone say "it esploded"?) and now there are some idiots saying that hydrazine sulphate is this new wonder drug (brought to you fnord by friedfishCo. [tm, R, @, $, billgatesisawiener], the same morons(tm) fnord that fnord brought you monoatomic fnord gold(tm) and oxygenated(tm) water(tm)fnord. fnordfnordfnordfnordfnordfnordfnordfnordfnord)

phase_dancer
12-09-2005, 08:36
phase_dancer, i'm assuming that you are not suggesting that that POCL3 synthesis be done without a fume hood and a good deal of precaution.

No, not at all. It was merely to illustrate that such things are possible to do. I was trying not to elaborate too much, procedure wise. Still it's worth sticking in a point on H+S; suitable fume hood being a minimum requirement.



crystalline perchloric anhydride Whoah!! 8o 8o

Perchloric acid is bad enough thank you! 8(

kaoskid
12-09-2005, 08:53
urk!, i just saw that mention of perchloric anhydride, here's a question in response:

what about Xenic acid? (H2XeO3, explodes spontaniously above 30deg. Centigrade [if i remember correctly]) oddly enough it's salts are stable (although the ammonium salt may be of some value as an exotic, not to mention prohibitively expensive, explosive ( XeO3N2H8 ).

BilZ0r
12-09-2005, 11:27
Ease up on the synthesis talk guys. It's obvious this is in regards to synthesizing drugs.

Limpet Chicken
12-09-2005, 13:46
xenates and perxenates are stable, yes, but bloody vicious oxidizers, apparently they ignite on contact with even most flurocarbon greases.

Smyth
12-09-2005, 14:19
I think I read somewhere that unlike traditional explosives ones made from noble gases do not leave behind any residue either.

fastandbulbous
12-09-2005, 16:59
It's best to leave it to nature, if possible. I remember seeing a paper years ago discussing the production of LSD using submerged culture of C. purpura in a vat, with the nutrient ingredients weighted so that LSD became a major biosynthetic product (probably using very unnatural amino acids, while excluding others to 'encourage' the biosynthetic pathway towards LSD - hell it wants to make lyseric acid amides, you just encourage it to make the diethyl one instead of any of the others). Then all you need is a big chromatography colum to separate it from all the other shit that will inevitably be produced.

Basically the same idea as feeding DET or DiPT to assorted Psilocybe species to get then to produce ethacin or iprocin (only a little more complex). Take the best synthestic organic chemist in the world, and they're still a total beginner when compared to natures synthetic methods (for example - app they're still at a loss for a total synthesis for salvinorin A)

Aren't enzymes great little buggers!

Limpet Chicken
13-09-2005, 01:39
You don't happen to have that paper do you? I would be MOST interested to see it, or others like it, I always knew the sample of Claviceps Paspali, and C.Purpurea I had in my stash box might perhaps come to some use some day=D

AFAIK salvinorin A has been synthesized, or at least, I think it has, I know for a fact, that a hybrid salvinorin-A based diterpene with both kappa and mu opioid antagonists, more potent than salvinorin-A itself has been synthesised, I know, because I got into a debate somewhere about the dichloromethyl methyl ether that is needed in the synthesis, and warned a poster just how evil a compound it is.

flyingbanana
13-09-2005, 01:57
Originally posted by Jabbawaya
Too bad Rhodium and the Hive are gone. Those were good. Now it's all up to Google for synths, huh? (Or PiKHAL/TiKHAL, though I'm sure there are simpler synths out there)

umm...scientific journals
rhodium and the hive are essentially irrelevant. one could say that the majority of rhodium is just collection of unoriginal articles

C6H6
13-09-2005, 02:13
^Very true. And most posters were just spawning wet dreams. Here people are thank god not allowed to talk about what 99% have no clue about anyhow: organic synthesis.

whiterasta
13-09-2005, 03:03
Originally posted by Limpet Chicken
Hoffman had bollocks, messing with anhydrous hydrazine, the damn stuff can drop your blood pressure like a sack of bricks off a cliff, and not to mention, mere traces of metal ions or ground glass joints are likely to cause it to spontaneously detonate, I would handle anhydrous N2H4 as carefully as I would crystalline perchloric anhydride=D

When i started as head of R/D for Pentachem their major diazo compound synth used anhydrous hydrazine. After about a dozen lab synths with my bollocks in my throat I figured out how to do a Zn reduction instead and form the zinc chloride half salt in one step.To the point, I got as far from using An-Hyd as I could as soon as I could.
The following says why I would never have had it in our production area.
Never could find a replacement for good ole sulfuryl chloride. That stuff mixed with ethylene dichloride at reflux is NASTY. Had a reactor go south(The owner was constantly changing the temp settings w/o telling the production manager) with that mix and it stripped the paint and rusted all the vehicles in the parking lot,not to mention damn near killing us all. Had so much SO2 we were huffing Ammonia to deacidify our lungs. Bad shit happens when uneducated( my former boss) people try organic synthesis.
We were making dye intermediates not drugs. I shudder to think the quality of drug that would come from a plant which the owner never allowed a reaction to go UnF*cked with to some degree ( I have the scars from chemical burns to prove it)
Pentachem was easily the most dangerous place I have worked,including a season on a crab boat in the Bearing sea, but then their "expert" was a talented undergraduate with no experience...me. And it's owner the son of a chemist but an MBA who would not spew a penny for safety.
It is not just education it is experience that makes for a good chemist.
WR

fastandbulbous
13-09-2005, 17:25
^ Perfect example of why getting enzymes to do the job is far better - physiological conditions for enzymes never killed anybody (although some of their products might!). That said, even working with things like tissue prep chems can be dangerous. I had a lab coat & pair of jeans disintergrate overnight after working with perchloric acid. Also had a spillage accident with liquid nitrogen - luckily only about 30ml, so I've still got 10 toes! Scared the shit out of me at the time though (i've seen how brittle tissue samples become at -178'C and I didn't want my toes to go that way). God bless Dr Marten and his marvellous boots.

PS I was talking about a total synthesis of salvinorin A, not just swapping around the ester groups - that's all they've done as far as I can see (bet that's hard enough though)

Limpet Chicken
13-09-2005, 22:06
Sheesh, I wouldn't want to be the one to have to clear up whats left of that labcoat, although I did the same to a pair of leather gauntlets working with liquified SO2, even the metal studs on the back rusted in minutes.

whiterasta
13-09-2005, 22:56
SO3 also was one of our lovelies...
WR

C6H6
13-09-2005, 23:45
Originally posted by fastandbulbous
PS I was talking about a total synthesis of salvinorin A, not just swapping around the ester groups - that's all they've done as far as I can see (bet that's hard enough though) They've done a bit more than transesterification, but indeed there seems to be no total synthesis published yet. That's b bit surprising. But they are getting close: http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/joceah/2005/70/i06/abs/jo0478499.html

fastandbulbous
14-09-2005, 00:22
Sheesh, I wouldn't want to be the one to have to clear up whats left of that labcoat

It was just tiny droplets - almost aerosol, but the next morning it looked like it had been attacked by starving, giant moths. I went to put my jeans on and the leg detatched in tatters while trying to pull them on.

App. it used to be used for Me 163 Komets (German WWII rocket powered fighters/interceptors), but if it crashed on take off, the flesh of the pilot would combust in contact with the perchloric acid (any organic material would) - no body left to be found in wreckage. Pretty gruesome way to go

jdude3
14-09-2005, 01:53
There have been more than a few that have no formal education, but were born into... and taught by the family masters. The old monkey see... monkey do method.

So I have read.

Frac
14-09-2005, 03:17
Well it seems there's folks on here with lot's of chemical knowledge.

Anyone care to cut right to a the heart of answering the original poster by stating what psychoactives they've ever synthesized or extracted from a natural source, and the "training" they had when they did it?

I mean, what better way to answer the question?

lifeisforliving
14-09-2005, 04:22
Originally posted by Frac
Well it seems there's folks on here with lot's of chemical knowledge.

Anyone care to cut right to a the heart of answering the original poster by stating what psychoactives they've ever synthesized or extracted from a natural source, and the "training" they had when they did it?

I mean, what better way to answer the question?

Umm.. yeah.. I'll get RIGHT on that. 8(

narrative0
14-09-2005, 04:31
I extracted caffeine from tea bags in a lab course once. It was fun.

Frac
14-09-2005, 04:34
Did you isolate it in pure form? I've extracted nicotine from Marlboros, but never got it to a pure state.

TheDEA.org
14-09-2005, 05:10
Hmm. If you could buy all the obvious immediate precursors and lab equipment you wanted, I don't think it would take much at all to synthesize MDMA. But...with every watched chemical you needed to get around, the complexity (and the chance to screw it up) would increase.

If something goes wrong in a real lab, you can squirt a bit of the reaction mix into Ye Ol' GC/MS and very quickly get a good idea of what went wrong. A 'cook' may never know how they're screwing up. So, lack of analytical equipment could be a serious impediment as well.

Organic synthesis isn't just about having the glassware and chemicals, either. There's a lot of technique, practical lab skills that require experience to get good at. I can teach you what a reflux is, but gaining a real feel for how to contain a hot reflux in the lab (by controlling reagent additions, various cooling tricks, etc.) takes experience. It's a little like the difference between knowing how a piano is played and getting good at it. :-)

So, I'd probably say typical requirements:

Meth: Dedicated amateur with minimal equipment and a lack of self-preservation instincts (given the main options use anhydrous ammonia (Birch) or the hot and toxic RP-I reduction.)

MDMA: Significant formal education in chemistry (say, a year of organic chemistry with labs), some real lab equipment and a good deal of diligence.

LSD: Most of a chemistry degree and a LOT of attention to detail, relatively exotic chemicals, lab equipment and procedures, and a willingness to handle fairly hazardous materials (yum, ergot poisoning!)

Granted, it's not absolute. I could believe a very unusual person with no formal chemistry background could pull off an LSD synth with a lot of reading and effort. But I'd be pretty damned impressed.

I believe last year the US saw about 10,000 meth lab busts to about 10-20 MDMA lab busts. Differences in the size of the trade aside, I think that says something about the relative ease of synthesis.

Jabbawaya
14-09-2005, 05:31
Yeah, I've heard that methamphetamine is quite easy to synth, and that methcathinone is even easier. Although a lot of people THINK they can do it and end up blowing themselves up, injuring themselves, or just getting caught.

Too bad the best and most rewarding drugs are generally the most difficult to synthesize... (opinion)