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Proceedings Paper

Trace chemical vapors in illicit cocaine production and shipping
Author(s): Susan T. Brown; Catherine Bothe; Donald Landstrom
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Paper Abstract

Useful detection of illegal cocaine shipments requires a means of performing rapid, on-site chemical analysis in a relatively non-intrusive manner. The sampling and analysis of the vapors emanating from the cocaine and cocaine hydrochloride may offer an attractive approach to detection. An immediate problem which makes this approach difficult is the very low vapor pressure of cocaine. The low vapor pressure of cocaine limits the available quantity for detection. There is the potential, however, for chemicals with higher vapor pressures to be present from the cocaine. If the presence of such chemicals is demonstrated to have a high correlation with the presence of cocaine and/or cocaine hydrochloride, their detection would offer a valuable tool for the detection of cocaine shipments. The chemicals that would have a high correlation with the presence of cocaine can be introduced from several sources, including the coca leaves from which naturally occurring alkaloids are extracted, cocaine purification processes, and cocaine degradation. Each of these sources has been examined in an effort to identify key compounds for cocaine detection. The purpose of this paper is to describe these efforts, and to summarize a program which is currently underway to accomplish the identification ofchemicals which may be useful for cocaine detection using headspace analyses.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 October 1994
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2276, Cargo Inspection Technologies, (6 October 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.189182
Show Author Affiliations
Susan T. Brown, Battelle Memorial Institute/Columbus Div. (United States)
Catherine Bothe, Battelle Memorial Institute/Columbus Div. (United States)
Donald Landstrom, Battelle Memorial Institute/Columbus Div. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2276:
Cargo Inspection Technologies
Andre H. Lawrence, Editor(s)

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