Ask and ye shall receive, but don't say I didn't warn you! Also please excuse my terrible penmanship and the dull state of my sharpies...
Here comes your totally unnecessary Organic Chemistry Lesson
I'll walk through a standard Acid/Base extraction of DMT using Acetic acid aka Marsofold's Tek
This here is freebase DMT - C12
- Go ahead and count the atoms.
Structurally it is composed of a large indole ring on the left, and a tiny little carbon tail on the right:
Each line connecting atom to atom indicates a covalent bond, double lines indicate double bonds.
Notice how each carbon atom has 4 bonds, each hydrogen has 1, but each Nitrogen has only 3. This is because Nitrogen likes to keep a pair of electrons in it's back pocket, just in case. We call these a "lone pair" because they aren't bonded to anything and they form the basis of the entire process.
The Indole ring is flat like the paper it is drawn on, but the carbon tail is actually 3-dimensional so the solid triangles indicate the bond is sticking out of the paper towards you while the dashed triangles indicate the bond is sticking out of the paper away from you.
That's a really bulky way to draw it though, so we leave off all the pesky hydrogens and just draw the basic skeleton and assume that each vertex is a carbon (unless otherwise noted) atom with enough hydrogens on it so that each atom has the right number of bonds:
Same thing goes for Acetic Acid (vinegar):
That thing on the left is messy & hard to draw, the diagram on the right is much cleaner.
The first thing we do is create an acetic acid solution by adding glacial acetic acid to water:
The water breaks the O-H bond in the acetic to form a positively charged Hydronium Ion [also called a Proton] and a negatively charged Acetate Ion.
Vinegar is usually a 5% acetic acid solution so this is already done for us in Marsofold's Tek.
When the Proton finds some DMT in solution it gloms on to the lone pair of the Nitrogen in the carbon tail, like your "buddy" from High School who only shows up when you've got weed. This gives us Protonated DMT which has a positively charged carbon tail:
But wait! Why doesn't the Proton glom on to the lone pair of the Nitrogen in the Indole ring? That Nitrogen has a 10π orbital---
[Shut up Phin, you're over-complicating things]
The Indole ring is big and strong and "protects" its Nitrogen from the Proton like a big brother on the playground.
Once the DMT has been Protonated that negatively charged Acetate ion comes in and sticks to the positively charged carbon tail like a magnet:
Which leaves us with DMT Acetate, a molecule that can withstand very high temperatures & wants to be in water.
So now, in our extraction, we have an acidic solution containing DMT acetate and a whole bunch of other Stuff. Lots of that other Stuff would rather be in Non-Polar solvents like naphtha, xylene, methylene chloride, etc, so we take a minute to mix our solution with some Non-Polar solvent and let the Stuff migrate over. That way we don't have to deal with it later and it doesn't dirty up our final product.
Sodium Hydroxide (lye) is an Ionic Molecule consisting of a positively charged Sodium Ion and negatively charged Hydroxide Ion that break apart completely when dissolved in water:
Now we're ready to convert our DMT Acetate back into the freebase. Adding an excessive amount of NaOH ensures that the equilibrium of the reaction favors the right side, the product. The first thing that happens is that the Sodium ion rips the acetate off to form Sodium Acetate and Protonated DMT again:
And immediately thereafter the Hydroxide Ion grabs up that Proton to form water, leaving us with DMT freebase in solution.
That DMT freebase really doesn't want to be in the water so we extract it with naphtha and freeze it out to form a crystalline solid.
This concludes your totally unnecessary Organic Chemistry lesson. As Shulgin said, "You may not understand it all, but you'll be able to hear the music."
Please ask any questions you might have, sorry for Nerding all over your thread.
Edited by Phineas_Carmichael, 05 April 2021 - 02:57 AM.