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Is it possible to synthesize GHB using potassium bicarbonate?
Q: Is it possible to synthesize GHB using potassium bicarbonate? I know KOH (potassium hydroxide) can be used, but have not read about potassium bicarbonate.

A: Yes, this is possible, assuming one proceeds from the lactone. In the conversion of GBL to GHB, a base such as potassium hydroxide is present to act as a catalyst for the reaction, to speed it up. Even simply dissolving GBL (Gama butyrlactone) in water will cause it to slowly convert to GHB.

Because potassium bicarbonate is a much weaker base than potassium hydroxide, the reaction will be significantly slower. It can be enhanced by heating the solution, which helps remove the generated carbon dioxide (the presence of carbon dioxide facilitates the formation of carbonic acid, neutralizing the base, slowing the reaction), but heat higher than room temperature is not absolutely necessary.

Asked By : biddyboy
Answered By : Blacklight
Edited By : Fire, Jon
Published Date : 12 / 15 / 2010
Last Edited Date : 12 / 8 / 2010
Question ID : 3149

Categories: [ Chemistry ] [ GHB ]

Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

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