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South African Journal of Chemistry

On-line version ISSN 1996-840X
Print version ISSN 0379-4350


NCUBE, Somandla et al. Comparative study of different column types for the separation of polar basic hallucinogenic alkaloids. S.Afr.j.chem. (Online) [online]. 2016, vol.69, pp.189-195. ISSN 1996-840X.

The number of hallucinogenic compounds that have been separated simultaneously by liquid chromatography is limited. This research aimed to identify a column(s) that can allow for separation of several hallucinogens. The extent of separation of seven polar hallucinogenic tryptamine and phenethylamine derived alkaloids containing a basic N atom that becomes protonated at low pH values were investigated on five reverse-based columns and one hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) column. An RP-phenyl and a negatively charged fused core HILIC were identified and recommended as effective columns in this regard. This research is the first to introduce a HILIC column in separation of hallucinogenic alkaloids and to simultaneously study the separation of the two principal psychoactive agents, muscimol and psilocin. The results of this study showed thatbetter separation in HILIC columns can be achieved if an aprotic diluent of relatively lower polarity is used to introduce analytes into a mobile phase of higher polarity. Tetrahydrofuran was recommended where acetonitrile is used as the organic component of the mobile phase.

Keywords : Hallucinogen; polar compounds; psilocin; muscimol; HILIC; tetrahydrofuran.

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