Breaking Good: how to synthesize Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) From N-Methylamphetamine (crystal meth)

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23 Responses to “Breaking Good: how to synthesize Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) From N-Methylamphetamine (crystal meth)”

  1. coryf says:

    Is this a REAL journal?  Only info I can find points back to this “paper”.

  2. jimh says:

    Brilliant.
    When being unstuffed is illegal, only outlaws will be unstuffed.

  3. Thebes says:

    Brilliant. I live in BFE and it’s 45 minutes to the pharmacy which often has a 45 minute line. I’m sure I could find meth a few minutes away outside with no lines, and  I wouldn’t even have to sign the idiotic wavers.

    Now if I could only make it into Polar Pur too (another product I can’t buy due to the bullshit War on Some Drugs).

  4. O Hai, I be hackingshit are the authors, lol. The internet.

  5. Lemoutan says:

    I believe there’s also a technique for turning readily available swords into ploughshares.

  6. rboatright says:

    Polar Pur is easy.  Purchase either sodium or potassium iodide.  Dissolve in sulphuric acid and water, dry,  Now heat the resulting mess while covered with a bowl containing ice.  the iodine will sublimate and condense as crystals on the bowl. 

    Scrape into pill bottles.  Instant polar pur.  

  7. cscalfani says:

    “How to turn $1 million in Real Estate into $25 in cash” — Steve Martin’s (fictitious) book title.

  8. Ronald Pottol says:

    Could you wind up with ephedrine, instead? Wasn’t that the OTC decongestant before being banned as too easy to make into meth, and replaced by psudoephedrine? 

  9. Carlton says:

    It’s parody, but I’m curious to know if the science is valid.

    • meowdip says:

      I would be suspicious of this.  With that lithium amide present I would expect it to react with the oxidant (step 3 -> 4) competitively with the carbon.  This would probably end up with a huge mess.  It looks like the authors just took the reaction in the referenced J. Chem. Soc. paper (which is legit and is almost the same reaction, just with an extra methyl group on the nitrogen) and substituted in their substrate.  Maybe if they had protected the amine with some sort of silyl group first, with deprotection at the end, it might work.  Although I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys weren’t real chemists at all.
      I also wouldn’t recommend eating anything which was one step away from a chromium reagent or HMPA without some much more serious clean up than what they mention in the paper.

      • Camp Freddie says:

        That sounds right. I think it’s pretty hard to get a dilithium organometallic. Harder than just chucking in twice as much BuLi anyway.Still, it’s not complete bullshit and is pretty damn impressive for a ‘joke’ paper.You could probably make it work by protecting the N-hydrogen with something, though it might screw up the stereoselectivity (I have no idea how the reaction with MoOPH works, but a protective group could sterically hinder any complexes).

      • Daen de Leon says:

        @boingboing-85d2d76eaf4c26e2a958fbf8068b5a52:disqus , is there an affiliation you might like to declare …? ;)

    • Daen de Leon says:

      Derek Lowe, over at “In the Pipeline”, has blogged about this here.

      He says:

      Their route, based on a 1985 paper in J. Chem. Soc. Chem. Comm., is not exactly trailer-park chemistry, though. (I note that they have the reference a bit wrong as well; there was no plainJ. Chem. Soc. in 1985). It involves a chromium carbonyl complex of the aryl ring, formation of a chiral lithium dianion, and oxidation of that with MoOPH, which would give you pseudephedrine after decomplexation. There’s no way to tell if these reactions have actually been run, of course. Based on the literature precedent, it might work, although I’d be worried about maintaining the chirality of the dianion. (For what it’s worth, the authors are also aware of this problem, and claim that the selectivity was unaffected).

  10. meowdip says:

    I found a biography of O. Hai:

    http://meowdip.heterodoxy.cc/?p=73

  11. I found out about this via a tweet, the wording of which I enjoyed:

    “US Crackdown on crystal meth means Sudafed is hard to buy.  But meth is easy to buy; here’s how to make Sudafed from it.”. @ciphergoth:disqus

    The War on Drugs™

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