Clarification of route specific impurities found in methylamphetamine synthesised using the Birch method

Vanitha Kunalan, William Kerr, Niamh Nic Daeid

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This paper focuses on the determination of route specific impurities produced when methylamphetamine is synthesised using the Birch reduction. Previous work available in the scientific literature reported only one route specific impurity using ephedrine hydrochloride as the starting material. In this paper we investigated the impurity profiles of methylamphetamine produced from both the salt and base forms of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. A new previously unreported route specific impurity was revealed as was the potential absence of the previously reported impurity in the profile of samples prepared from the free base.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-329
Number of pages9
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2012


  • Birch reduction
  • methylamphetamine
  • route specific impurities

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