Propionic Anhydride


Figure (a) Clandestine laboratory synthesis of fentanyl precursor. (b) Clandestine laboratory synthesis of fentanyl.

hallucinogens. Phenethylamines are suitable for clandestine laboratory production. The parent compound in the phenethylamine series is amphetamine, a central nervous system stimulant (CNS). With this molecule, the modifications begin by adding a methyl group to the nitrogen on the side chain. The resulting structure is the most popular clandestinely produced controlled substance in the U.S. in 1995 — methamphetamine (Figure 1.4.9).

Like amphetamine, methamphetamine is also a CNS stimulant. It is easily produced in clandestine laboratories using two basic synthetic routes. The traditional route used by "meth cooks" began with phenyl-2-propanone; however, when bulk sales were limited by law, most clandestine chemists began using ephedrine as a precursor (Figure, although, as illustrated in Figure, some now synthesize their own supply of phenyl-2-propanone, and still other routes are possible (Figure New legislation has now limited bulk

Phenethylamine Hethylacrylat

~ /CH2CH2C0CH3

Diester of Phenethylamine


Sodium Methoxide

N-(1-Phenethyl )piperidin-4-o



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