Supported liquid-liquid extraction of the active ingredient (3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine) from ecstasy tablets for isotopic analysis

de Korompay, A. and Hill, J.C. and Carter, J.F. and NicDaeid, N. and Sleeman, R. (2008) Supported liquid-liquid extraction of the active ingredient (3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine) from ecstasy tablets for isotopic analysis. Journal of Chromatography A, 1178 (1-2). pp. 1-8. ISSN 0021-9673

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Abstract

A method was developed for the isolation of 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA) and other active ingredients from illicit ecstasy tablets. The method employed supported liquid extraction (SLE) with cartridges containing a modified form of diatomaceous earth. The method developed was simple and robust and the extract could be analysed directly, by GC-MS, to identify ingredients and reduced in volume for isotope ratio MS analysis of both δ13C and δ15N. The technique was shown to be highly reproducible, independent of the tablet matrix and considerably faster than existing liquid-liquid extraction methods. Crucially, no significant isotopic fractionation was observed as a result of the extraction process.