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GC-MS Studies on the Regioisomeric 2 3- and 3 4-Methylenedioxyphenethylamines Related to MDEA MDMMA and MBDB

NCJ Number
Journal of Chromatographic Science Volume: 46 Issue: 10 Dated: 2007 Pages: 900-906
Date Published
7 pages

This project focused on the synthesis, mass spectral characterization, and chromatographic analysis of six regioisomeric methoxy methyl phenethylamines, and the mass spectral and chromatographic properties of these compounds were compared to the isobaric 2,3- and 3,4-methylenedioxyphenethyl-amines of the same side chain.


Three regioisomeric 3,4-methylenedioxyphenethylamines having the same molecular weight and major mass spectral fragments of equal mass have been reported as drugs of abuse in forensic studies in recent years. These compounds are 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDEA), 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-N-dimethylamphetamine (MDMMA), and N-methyl-1-(3,4- methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-butanamine (MBDB). The mass spectra of the regioisomers (4-methoxy-3-methyl and 4-methoxy-2-methyl-phenethylamines) are essentially equivalent to the three compounds reported as drugs of abuse. The six regioisomeric methoxy-methylphenethylamines were synthesized from commercially available starting materials. Side chain differentiation by mass spectrometry was possible after the formation of the perfluoroacyl derivatives, pentafluoropropionylamides (PFPA) and heptafluorobutrylamides (HFBA). Gas chromatographic separation on Rtx-1 was successful at resolving the perfluoroacyl derivatives of the 4-methoxy-3-methyl phenethylamines from those of the 4-methoxy-2-methyl phenethylamines. The 4-methoxy-3-methyl-phenethylamine derivatives eluted before the 4-methoxy-2-methyl-phenethylamine derivatives as both the PFPA and HFBA derivatives. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2007