Investigation of the l-phenylacetylcarbinol process to substituted benzaldehydes of interest
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The large scale industrial manufacture of the nasal decongestant pseudoephedrine is typically carried out by the reductive amination of l-phenylacetylcarbinol (l-PAC), which in turn is produced via the biotransformation of benzaldehyde using yeast. In recent years there has been increasing legislative control of the supply of pseudoephedrine due to it being diverted for the clandestine production of methylamphetamine and there is some evidence that a number of clandestine drug laboratory chemists have considered the application of the l-PAC process to manufacture their own pseudoephedrine. This work examined the use of a number of substituted benzaldehydes for the manufacture of the corresponding substituted l-PAC analogue followed by reductive amination to the corresponding substituted pseudoephedrine/ephedrine analogues. These substituted pseudoephedrine/ephedrine analogues were either reduced or oxidised to determine the feasibility of producing the corresponding methylamphetamine or methcathinone analogues. As a result, the l-PAC process was identified as a viable route for synthesis of substituted methylamphetamines and methcathinones.
Forensic Science International
Copyright 2014 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.