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Title: Chemical profiling and environmental modelling of waste from clandestine methylamphetamine laboratories
Author: Kates, Lisa Natasha
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2013
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Methylamphetamine (MA) is an illicit drug abused by millions of people worldwide. MA can be manufactured easily using a variety of household chemicals and several different methods. The illicit manufacture of MA produces large amounts of waste: one kilogram of MA produces five to seven kilograms of toxic waste, which is illegally disposed of in a number of different ways, creating a source of pollution. MA waste contains many harmful components, however it has never been characterised. In this work, MA was synthesised following three different synthetic routes. The waste were collected and subject to chemical profiling using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Key marker compounds of the waste were identified which may aid in the detection and prosecution of an illicit dumpsite. Those key marker compounds include MA, 1-phenyl-2-propanone, Nformylmethylamphetamine, and 2,6-di-tert-butylphenol. Environmental partition coefficients were measured experimentally for several of the i dentified waste components. The octanol-water partition coefficient (KOW) and the organic carbon partition coefficient (KOC) were measured following standard methods. The KOW values were found to be in accordance with computer estimated values produced from the environmental modelling programme, EPI SuiteTM, while the KOC values were calculated as a function of organic carbon content from collected sediment samples. Using the measured KOW values and calculated KOC values, a fugacity model of the waste was generated using EPI SuiteTM to predict the distribution of the waste once it enters the environment. It was determined that the majority of the waste components will partition predominantly into the water compartment. This study encompasses the first research on waste generated from the illicit manufacture of MA, with the aim to provide information to law enforcement personnel and environment agencies to allow clandestine manufacturers to be prosecuted under environmental legislation in addition to drugs legislation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available