Ayahuasca: alkaloids, plants & analogs
Section 1 :
Other approaches to recover & purify harmala alkaloids
An extraction with alcohol or an organic solvent or a basified organic solvent based could be used, the solvent removed (preferably under reduced pressure). The resulting residue could then be dissolved into a warm weak acidic solution, filtered if necessary to remove any insoluble material, the harmine and harmaline then precipitated by neutralizing with ammonia and recovered by filtration.
The material could then be purified as above (i.e. again dissolving it in a weak acidic solution and precipitating with ammonia.)
Alternately, a warm weak acidic solution could be used for the initial extract and the harmala alkaloids precipitated by neutralizing with strong base and recovered by filtration.
Purification, as noted above, should again follow the initial isolation.
Hasenfratz's method is safe and easy for the initial isolation and can be combined with the procedure just mentioned for obtaining a highly purified product free of salt contamination.
This can also be used to remove excess salt resulting from careless measurement of salt when using the Hasenfratz method.
If using acids other than hydrochloric or acetic acid, be certain that the salt produced with the base chosen for neutralization is soluble in water or it may end up as a contaminant in the final product.
The harmala alkaloids all sublime.
This will not separate them from each other but will highly purify the mixture.