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Renton RJ, Cowie JS, Oon MCH. 
“A study of the precursors, intermediates and reaction by-products in the synthesis of 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine and its application to forensic drug analysis”. 
Forensic Sci Int. 1993;60(3):189-202.
3,4-Methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA) was prepared by three synthetic routes. Analytical data from thin-layer chromatography, gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of the precursors (safrole and isosafrole), intermediates (isosafrole glycol, piperonylmethylketone, N-formyl-3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine, N-formyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine and 1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-bromopropane), reaction by-products and the product MDMA were obtained. Further analyses of MDMA using other techniques including 1H- and 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, ultraviolet spectroscopy and high performance liquid chromatography were also carried out. The results were then used as reference data for the identification of MDMA in case samples and also to establish the route of synthesis of illicitly prepared MDMA by the study of trace impurities.
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