AchemLab6 - Determination of Cocaine Contamination on Money...

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Determination of Cocaine Contamination on Money Using Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry Methods 2/c Anderson, 2/c Brockway, 2/c Harrison, 2/c Miller, 1/c Packard, 2/c Zalewski and 2/c Yahle Department of Science, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut 06320-8101 The purpose of this experiment was to determine the total mass of cocaine contamination on individual bills of United States paper currency through the use of gas chromatography – mass spectrometry. The bills were solvent extracted with methanol and the extracted ion chromatograms were used to identify cocaine contamination presence as compared to a deuterated cocaine internal standard. The range of cocaine contamination on paper currency in this experiment was 0 to 4940 micrograms with the correction applied. This range widely exceeds the expected range of 0.01-922 micrograms. This method was able to determine cocaine contamination, but more samples would be necessary to attain great consistency and a better shaped curve. The chemical sample involves a combination of cocaine and methanol. In this experiment, the methanol was used to extract ion chromatograms from the sample and cocaine was the chemical being measured and analyzed. Cocaine is important because it is a major drug involved in illegal trafficking and distribution. In fact, it is one of the most widely used illicit substances. 1 It is important to be able to analyze cocaine to identify and regulate it. Cocaine has often been detected on paper currency due to drug users snorting cocaine through rolled currency, transactions in financial institutions, and from the exchange, storage, and use of cocaine. 2 Most people are unknowingly handling small amounts of cocaine each and every day. This information raises concern with law officials in possibly skewing their ability to discern money involved in illegal drug T Corresponding author. E-mail: [email protected] 1 Analytical Methods, Spring 2010
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transactions and money that just received cocaine through bill-to-bill contact. 3 In fact, even dust from counting machines has shown to contain a significant amount of cocaine. 4 It has been suggested that paper currency and sterling banknotes retain cocaine through physical entrapment of crystalline materials in cavities or through the dissolution in surface inks or grease, or even chemical binding. 4 Scientists in particular care about this problem because there are many versions of chemical analysis that can be applied to paper currency in order to determine the quantity of cocaine. Gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is one of the most common methods employed to detect cocaine concentration on paper currency. However, different adjustments have been used with the method. In one case, bills were extracted with 0.1 M hydrochloric acid followed by solid phase extraction. This method also involved a selected ion monitoring mode, but a standard curve was still analyzed to attain results. This method used a control group of four new, uncirculated $1 bills. The results
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This note was uploaded on 10/01/2010 for the course CHEM 341 taught by Professor Frysinger during the Spring '09 term at Conn College.

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AchemLab6 - Determination of Cocaine Contamination on Money...

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