Characterization of One Pot methamphetamine laboratories using GC-MS and LC-MS/MS

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Following the first discovery in 2007, One Pot methamphetamine laboratories have quickly grown to become the number one method of production across the United States. While One Pot laboratories accounted for over 85% of all clandestine methamphetamine laboratories in the United States from 2012 to 2016, the byproducts formed during these syntheses have remained uncharacterized. This research sought to help assess the public health impacts of these clandestine laboratories and assist in criminal investigations by characterizing One Pot methamphetamine laboratories and identifying byproducts produced during illicit manufacturing. Using gas chromatography mass spectrometry, byproducts were identified in the solid and liquid waste materials, as well as the product salts of One Pot reactions. Once identified, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry was used to quantitate the concentration of these byproducts in all aspects of a completed One Pot methamphetamine reaction. Results demonstrated that designated byproducts could be found in solid waste, liquid waste, and product salts of a One Pot methamphetamine reaction. Two commonly used solvents in One Pot methamphetamine laboratories, diethyl ether and camp fuel, were compared, and results determined that the quantity of byproducts produced during One Pot methamphetamine syntheses were affected by which solvent was used during the reaction. This was the first thorough characterization of the One Pot methamphetamine reaction, and the identification of byproducts in the reaction waste and product salts provides analytical targets to monitor and detect clandestine laboratories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100244
JournalForensic Chemistry
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Byproducts
  • GC-MS
  • LC-MS/MS
  • Methamphetamine
  • One Pot


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