A list of ideas for meth synthesis
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METHAMPHETAMINE FAQ v1.0:
1. via Chloromethamphetamine notes
with Bromomethamphetamine extension.
2. via Iodomethamphetamine notes
3. P2P notes [none yet other than "reductively aminate"]
4. via D-Phenylalanine notes
5. via Amphetamine
6. Seperation of isomers of amphetamine and related
7. "Bunk" synthesises, and why they don't work
8. General information
(1) Via Chloromethamphetamine
Making it from ephedrine or pseudoephedrine is possible. The only difference
between methamphetamine and (pseudo)ephedrine is that damn alpha-hydroxy group.
Reacting your ephedrine with thionyl chloride replaes the OH with Cl to produce
N-methyl-alpha-chloroamphetamine as an intermediate. Hydrogenating this product
is easy: use lithium aluminum hydride, sodium borohydride, or even hydrogen gas
with nickel or platinum metal as a catalyst. The product of this step is
N-methylamphetamine and HCl. Evaporate off the water and you have methamphetamine
React the (pseud)Ephedrine with PHOSPHORUS PENTACHLORIDE (maybe even the
trichloride would work!). This is another chlorinating agent. The byproduct is
phosphoric acid instead of messy sulphur compounds. In otherwords, LESS STINK!!!
Reduction is possible with standard LAH procedures, as per above.
A bromomethamphetamine side note, possibly applicable to the chloroamphetamine
methods with altered yields///////
> Would you be so kind as to e-mail me a detailed description of the
> brominated ephedrine method of synthesizing methamphetamine. Thanx!
Method, no. The idea I proposed was to prepare HBr acid [see elusis's file] in
aqueous solution, add Ephedrine base (or HBr?) and zinc bromide [or a small amount
of zinc to FORM zinc bromide] as catalyst, to form bromomethamphetamine. This
reaction would take place faster than the coresponding reaction with HCl.
note that HI + ZnI may very well proceed straight to methamphetamine given HI's
aptitude for attacking iodated hydrocarbons.
The bromomethamphetamine would be disolved in anhydrous ethyl ether, then
powdered magnesium would be added, hopefully forming the grignard. To
this water is added slowly to form methamphetamine and various magnesium
I've never seen it tried and the NH2+ may cause a problem with forming the
grignard. It's just an idea.
(2) Via Iodomethamphetamine
(pseud)Ephedrine is reduced with red phosphorus using iodine as a catalyst.
OK, remember the reagent for halide sub. of an alcohol?
It was always PCl3, PBr3, or PI3 right? Neat P(x)3 isn't usually used, right?
So, I imagine you would mix HI, red P, and the alcohol in a flask at first. Then
the P4 would change to PI3. (no, not by magic. do you remember this shit yet?)
The PI3 would reduce the alcohol to a halide by some mech. I forgot. The PI3 again
magically changes to H3PO3 and HI when heated. HI reduces the
alcohol-that-is-now-a-halide to a hydrocarbon.
SO... The reaction basically goes like this:
Phosphorus + Iodine ---> PI3
(pseud)Ephedrine + PI3 ---> Phosphoric acid + b-Iodo,n-methamphetamine
PI3 + water---> HI + H3PO3
b-Iodo,n-methamphetamine + HI ---> Methamphetamine + I2 (iodine)
(iodine is reused)
Another version of this synthesis involves reacting iodine with plain
old red phosphorus, adding the ephedrine, then continuing to add red P
to keep the reduction going. This is the 'classic biker meth' recipe,
and without a good acid/base extraction thru a nonpolar solvent, a good
way to end up a hyperthyroid mess with the nickname 'goiter joe']. Since,
no doubt, the classic "biker methheads" eyeballed amounts for their
reagents [just kidding guys], and evaluated production not with scales and
chromatographs but with HONEST TO GOD FIELD TESTING [heh heh] of the
compound, there were no amounts listed. Figure it out yerself, as directed
to in the below listing:
This whole thread has been extremely educational to an old P2P chemHacker
like POPEYE, but I think y'all need to know that the HI reduction of
ephedrine doesn't involve a chlorephedrine intermediate or hydrogenation w/d/C,
Raney Nickel, and especially not LAH. Now I could be fullaShit, BUT, it
seems that at LEAST two syntheses are being confused here.
The original question was:
> Will hydroiodic acid really reduce ephedrine to methamphetamine via
POPEYE doesn't know shit about anything following the 'via' in that
sentence, but he does know that L-ephedrine is refluxed with hydriodic acid
in the presence of a RED PHOSPHOROUS catalyst for 32 hours to yield crank
oil, which is seperated from the reaction goop with 10% LYE and a sep
funnel, then acidified, dehydrated, and cooled in an ether-acetone
solution to yield Crystal.. much simpler than Yall are makin' it out to be.
This is the famous one-step biker crank and it's killer when done as an
artform...considerably more potent than a P2P route and absoLUTEly the reason
that L-ephedrine has become scarce in some sectors of the occupied
territories formerly known as the USA.
Sorry I couldn't supply references or proportions for this synth....It
should be easy to Mole out from what I've said, and I absolutely 100% can
guarantee that this is not bullshit.
Always watch out for beta-halogenated byproduct - these unreacted components
are supposedly quite bad for you. A LAH wash of the finished compound should
remove them nicely. Barring that, a quick reflux in 1M NaOH(aq) will probably
convert any beta-halogenated product back into ephedrine - strive to use
enough phosphorus to complete the original reaction.
YET ANOTHER METHOD:
Alcohols can be converted to their halides simply by mixing with the acid.
Tert-butanol reacts SO FAST that merely mixing it with HCl results in
tert-butyl-chloride in a few minutes! In general, the rules for this are that
tertiary alcohols react fastest, and primary alcohols slowest. N-butanol + HCl
reacts so slowly that Zinc Chloride must be used as a catalyst. Another
thing to remember is that HI reacts fastest, HCl slowest.
With this in mind, recall that Hx halogen acids can be synthesized from
their salts and a stronger acid. Sulphuric acid is suitable for HCl and
sometimes HBr, but will oxidize HI back to I2. Phosphoric acid however will
not, and can be used with solid KI or NaI to make HI gas. The ideal
reaction to use for this method would probably involve zinc iodide
and hydroiodic acid. Zinc iodide can be prepared by simply mixing zinc and
iodine in a suitable setting and heating (dangerous enough - exothermic rxn).
Make enough zinc iodide and you can use it...
Zinc Iodide + Phosphoric acid ---> Zinc Phosphate + HI (gas)
ZnI + HI + Ephedrine ---> b-iodomethamphetamine + H2O
HI + b-iodomethamphetamine ---> methamphetamine
A suggested synthesis would involve leaving the HI + Ephedrine over ZnI
for a LONG TIME [two days?], perhaps even with heating? As with
all proposed synthesises, try it first, find out, and use your intuition
to think of an improvement, try that, see if it works better or worse, etc.
(3) P2P Notes...........................DejaNews Document
(4) Via D,L-Phenylalanine
A surprisingly simple synthesis is possible from the amino acid
phenylalanine, which is available at health food stores for about $14 for
100 tablets. Phenylalanine is 2-amino-3-phenylpropanoic acid, which is
more or less amphetamine with a COOH where the CH3 should be at the end of
the chain. Thionyl chloride will replace the OH with a Cl, which falls off
and is replaced by H when you give it lithium aluminum hydride, sodium
borohydride, or hydrogen gas and nickel/platinum. If you use hydrogen and
metal for that step, you'll have to reduce the carbonyl group with one of
the hydrides, so best save time + effort and use them and do both
reductions at once. When that carbonyl is reduced, you now have
amphetamine. Go back up to that first one I mentioned for upgrading
amphetamine into methamphetamine. (and end up with a racemic mixture - that
is to say dl-amphetamine or dl-methamphetamine - the latter being similar
to 50% d-meth from ephedrine and 50% l-meth from a vicks inhaler!]
[BY THE WAY: If you use the all-to-common L-Phenylalanine, you'll get
l-amphetamine! Use "DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA)" if you want to use this
Note that both the DLPA and the P2P procedures will give you a mixture
of d- and l- isomers. The d- is cool, the l- is shit. If you have the
time, energy, and equipment, you can separate the two.
and reprocess the l- into d- by oxidizing it and re-aminating it as
described in the "critique" of the Phrack synthesis.
Why bother? what a major pain in the ass, especially considering the ease of
producing the d-isomer directly, the cheapness of DLPA versus recycling L-meth
into more racemic product, etc. Simply isolate the D-isomer and THROW the
(5) Via Amphetamine
One of the easiest ways to make methamphetamine is from amphetamine. Of
course, this assumes you have amphetamine in the first place, but let's
just pretend you have some and you want to spice it up a bit.
The difference between amphetamine and methamphetamine is the addition of
a single methyl group (CH3) to the amino group sticking off the middle
carbon atom in the chain. Fortunately, substituting amines is really
simple. Vaporize your amine (your amphetamine) with a bunch of vaporized
chloromethane (CH3Cl, a solvent) and some gaseous pyridine...
voila, the amino group takes the methyl from the chloromethane and lets a
hydrogen go. The hydrogen joins the liberated chlorine, and the resulting
HCl is soaked up by the pyridine. The pyridine is optional. Adding it
drives the reaction a bit by pulling the excess HCl out of the equation,
but it's not neessary.
(6) Separation of isomers
(7) "BUNK" Synthesises
One, from Phrack magazine, is the "tried and true method" for prepping
meth from Vick's nasal inhalers. Vick's nasal inhalers contain
"l-desoxyephedrine," another name for "l-methamphetamine." The l- isomer
of methamphetamine is the relatively inactive one, usable as a (mild)
nasal decongestant. The d- isomer is the one that everyone wants and that
Uncle Sam has declared is just too cool for anyone except doctors.
The procedure described would extract the l-meth from the inhalers and
collect it and that's it. I'm sorry, but the Isomer Fairy can't wave
her magick wand and reverse the chirality of the molecule. The only way
to change between the two isomers is to oxidize the l-meth into
phenylacetone, condense it with methylamine, then reduce it. Sorry, but
soaking inhalers in HCl then separating the "juice" with Et2OH just won't
do it. You'll get l-meth and that's that.
On the other hand, when your friends rat you out cause you basically
ripped them off, don't expect the cops to check the isomerization. They'll
say "Yup, its methamphetamine, book 'em" and that will be all.
A SYNTHESIS THAT MIGHT WORK, MIGHT NOT:
A more credible souding one mentions that "methamphetamine is prepared by
the calalytic reduction of pseudoephedrine in acetic acid" blahblahblah and
then goes on to describe, not catalytic reduction via acetic acid, but
reduction with sodium borohydride. I'm sorry to say that no method
attempting to directly reduce (pseudo)ephedrine's hydroxyl group is going
to work. You can't expose it to a strong acid, or a weak acid, or sodium
borohydride, or even lithium aluminum hydride and expect it to reduce at
all. As with the Vick's Inhalers "recipe," you get a lot of SOMETHING,
but it ain't d-meth. All you'll be left with is your (pseudo)ephedrine
and a bunch of acid, lithium, and/or sodium and lotsa hydrogen gas. This
is because the hydroxyl group (the OH in ephedrine) is on a very acidic
carbon (the first carbon away from the ring) and a hydroxyl group is very
basic. If the hydroxyl were on the second carbon from the ring (the carbon with
the amine group, the NH2 or NHCH3), there might be somechance, but it's not and
there's not. You're not getting a basic groupoff an acidic carbon without a fight,
and acids, borohydride, and LiAlhydride aren't gonna fight that hard.
[this may not be true. If the acetic acid forms the ESTER at the hydroxy,
it would aid in reduction by serving as a catalyst. This is doubtful,
especially considering that any process promoting the loss of water would
also create the acetic amide! Perhaps a final reflux with sodium hydroxide would
resolve this problem, but its still a poor method as the author above stated]
(5) General Info
From Merck Index, 11th edition:
Long Name: N,a-Dimethylbenzeneethanamine
Molecular Weight: 149.24
for the HCl form:
Melts at 170-175c
Tastes bitter [nooo... really???]
Soluable in water, alcohol, and chloroform, but practically insoluable in ethyl
ether. A 1% aqeuous solution is neutral or slightly acidic to litmus.
From PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS and RELATED COMPOUNDS, 2nd edition:
LD50 data listed from multiple sources:
for D isomer:
15mg/kg,i.p. mice 9.4mg/kg/i.v./mice
[bunch of data for L-isomer, which aint that potent, not included. It's my
guess the reason for all the data on the L-isomer is to indicate safety
probably trials done before marketing the Vicks Inhalers...]
Human Dosage (for non-tolerant individuals):
or halucinations [unpleasant paranoid ones I imagine?]:
For stimulation: 2.5-5mg bid or tid,
10-15mg i.v. bid, 15-30mg i.m. b.i.d.
[these somewhat conflicting data are interesting...]
For anoretic use: 10-15mg