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Organic Chemistry (Methamphetamine)

Methamphetamine was first synthesized from ephedrine in Japan in 1893 by chemist Nagai Nagayoshi. In 1919, crystallized methamphetamine was synthesized by Akira Ogata via reduction of ephedrine using red phosphorus and iodine. Synthesis is relatively simple, but entails risk with flammable and corrosive chemicals, particularly the solvents used in extraction and purification; therefore, illicit production is often discovered by fires and explosions caused by the improper handling of volatile or flammable solvents. Most of the necessary chemicals are readily available in household products or over-the-counter cold or allergy medicines. When illicitly produced, methamphetamine is commonly made by the reduction of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. The maximum conversion rate for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine is 92%, although typically, illicit methamphetamine laboratories convert at…