There is a technique of precipitating alkaloids out of solution that uses Fumaric Acid Saturated Alcohol (FASA).
I want to try it but I can't get find fumaric acid or methanol. I've been wondering why fumaric is the chosen acid, and why methanol is the preferred solvent - Can I find substitutes?
I started reading about the properties of various acids and solvents (I love you PubChem) and I found that fumaric acid has the interesting property of being quite insoluble in water. On thinking a bit more I realised that there is no water involved in FASA precipitation when it's done right so it might be irrelevant.
It seems that acid-saturated alcohol is used to disperse the acid through the freebase-containing NP solution without introducing water. It is similar to HCl gassing in that way.
What about fumaric acid's solubility in alcohol, especially methanol? A bit more reading reveals that many acids are soluble in many alcohols, so I think that's not why fumaric is chosen. People are also using Fumaric Acid Saturated IsoPropyl Alcohol (FASIPA) for the same purpose.
I'm starting to think I could use Citric Acid Saturated Isopropyl Alcohol (CASIPA?) - citric is freely soluble in IPA and insoluble in xylene. Mescaline citrate is insoluble in xylene so it should precipitate out when CASIPA is added. Is mescaline citrate soluble in a mixture of xylene and IPA? I don't know - I'm guessing it is not.
Why should the alcohol solution be saturated? What happens if it only contains quite a lot of acid but has room for more? What if I put a glass of isopropanol and a glass of HCl 35% in a box together and left them for a while? Could mescaline HCl be precipitated from xylene without gassing?
Is there something else I'm missing about FASA precipitation?
Is it because the technique was originally used for DMT and the fumarate salt of DMT can be vapourised at about 150deg?
Or is it something else?