Identification of a Suspicious Drug by Using Spectroscopic Techniques: A Forensic Analytical Chemistry Project


Chemistry and Biochemistry

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We identified a drug analog by using screening and confirmatory tests. Total ion chromatogram showed a major peak with a molecular ion of 190 m/z, but no mass spectrum match from the NIST library. A minor peak was identified as 1-benzylpiperazine (molecular ion = 176 m/z). Molecular ions of both peaks differed by 14 m/z units, suggesting a –CH2 – group. Both peaks had the same base peak of 91 m/z. Derivatizing the drug analog with trifluoroacetic anhydride confirmed the presence of 1-benzylpiperazine. No reaction occurred with the major peak. We proposed a benzyl-4-methylpiperazine structure, which was confirmed by NMR studies.