Build From Scratch
The methods in this book have thus far been presented under the assumption that precursors such as safrole, sassafras oil, benzal-dehyde etc. are still available. We know that safrole, isosafrole, piperonal, ephedrine, P2P and the like are currently schedule I controlled substances. Strike has no doubt that natural oils such as sassafras and nutmeg are going to eventually be banned as well. In anticipation of such an outcome, Strike is going to launch a preliminary strike against it. The following is the culmination of a lot of research on how to build X and meth precursors essentially from scratch. In fact, there are so many ways to do this that a whole other book could be written on the subject and still not cover the merest fraction of possibilities. So Strike has narrowed things down to the most direct methods which produce the greatest yields using the least restrictive chemicals and procedures. In some instances the science may be a little squirrelly, but one should keep in mind that, as far as Strike knows, all of the following procedures are legal to perform except for those that actually end up making the precursor. The next drawing shows the general pathway of synthesis that Strike is talking about.
Speed manufacturers need only look at the molecules and imagine them without those extra OHs or methylenedioxy ring structures attached to the benzene core. These particular pathways are, however, more uniquely suited for X precursor production because they take advantage of the hindrance that methylenedioxy ring structures and OHs provide on one side of the benzene core. This helps to better assure that mono chloromethylations or bro-minations will occur whereas di- and tri-substitutions are possible on a naked benzene molecule which speed chemists are going to be using (please don't ask).
It would be pretty pathetic if one had to start the synthesis of a complex molecule such as X from something like phenol but it can be done. However, since all of the intermediates listed here are legal, there is no excuse not to start as far up the ladder as
possible. This is especially true of pyrocatechol (a.k.a. catechol). One can get a ton of pyrocatechol and play with it ad nauseam. Using some of the techniques mentioned here, and others mentioned God-knows-where-else, just about anything can be done to these pre-precursors. An OH or methyl group can be added here. A methoxy group can be stropped away or added there. Bromi-nations. Alkylations. Believe Strike, if you can imagine it then someone has already done it or the methodology is in place for it to be done.
And wouldn't you know it someone already has. Without a doubt Strike is most proud of the new testimonials that have been placed in this section for this edition. Strike had little faith that someone would actually apply the (legal) recipes here from the first edition, but one person named Merlin did! Not only is Merlin the handsomest chemist around (seen a picture) but she/he has provided some experimentáis for which every one of you ingrates will be thankful for years to come. Maybe not now. But someday soon.
Continue reading here: Pyrocatechol From Salicylaldehyde
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