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Refinery
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[*] posted on 19-7-2020 at 12:14
Common chemicals that are suspicious and vice versa


I was looking through different suppliers' catalogues and they offer a huge array of reagents. Anyone more chemistry-savvy knows that many substances can be used for various reactions, and some of those produce substances that are controlled at some extent.

Has this ever caused any issues for anyone who has inquired or ordered something that can be used for some common reactions, but could also be used for malicious intentions? I might over-think it, but I've been quite cautious of ordering anything that could even remotely be misused because of not wanting to get into trouble, and I have sometimes synthesized some reagents myself from otc stuff just to avoid ordering it from chemical supplier. I'm not talking just about obvious precursors that are well known and obviously the ones that are actually sanctioned by law, but for example some specific compounds that have few uses besides for example in pharmaceutical industry, but they come handy in some other reaction as well?

Are my fears of getting flagged for something trivial exaggerated? Has anyone else ever thought of avoiding ordering from special supplier if there was a doable otc route available?

It could also be turned other way around: have you ever faced something that sounds "too good to be true" but has been sold around in bulk like bag of salt?
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mackolol
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[*] posted on 19-7-2020 at 12:23


This is the topic very common on all sorts of chemistry forums, I think it was even few times there, just find it.
But most common, in Poland at least are the obvious direct drug precorsors such as p2np, substituted propiophenones, methylamine, methylstyrene, nitroethane, 1,4 buthanediol, but I don't know if cops would've been interested if I have bought such things. I guess it's more the matter of law in your country. In one country, you will buy p2np without any suspicions, in other they can check you after buying 12% hydrogen peroxide or permanganate...
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Eddie Current
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[*] posted on 19-7-2020 at 12:56


Quote: Originally posted by mackolol  
This is the topic very common on all sorts of chemistry forums, I think it was even few times there, just find it.
But most common, in Poland at least are the obvious direct drug precorsors such as p2np, substituted propiophenones, methylamine, methylstyrene, nitroethane, 1,4 buthanediol, but I don't know if cops would've been interested if I have bought such things. I guess it's more the matter of law in your country. In one country, you will buy p2np without any suspicions, in other they can check you after buying 12% hydrogen peroxide or permanganate...


I have had similar experiences.

Certain chemicals are listed as "drug precursors" in my location and typically require signed applications/user declarations in order to be accessed, with these applications being forwarded to a police check for ultimate approval. On the occasions I have had to fill them out, I have provided an explanation by way of a covering letter outlining the research and have had no issues from the authorities.

On the other hand, I have had people question me and treat me suspiciously because I inquired about non listed items such as hexane.

Ultimately, if a person is not engaging in any nefarious activities then they have nothing to fear in asking to purchase any chemicals, and I would advise that hobbyist applications are more favorable when related to smaller amounts of chemicals (>500g/2.5lt) and include environmental waste protocols.

The laws of my location also describe allowable amounts of "precursors" that do not require any legal oversight, but they typically range in volumes that cannot be purchased (e.g. Benzaldehyde-50mls), and due to costs and/or convenience, it's generally cheaper and easier just to manufacture these amounts.

In a nutshell, if you have nothing to be suspicious about, then order your chemicals via the standard processes, and don't be concerned. If anyone has fears of getting "flagged", then they may wish to re-evaluate what they may be thinking of doing. Personally, my take is that it's only a matter of time before there are legal issues for anyone contemplating pushing the legal boundaries whilst ordering chemicals via the standard channels.

[Edited on 19-7-2020 by Eddie Current]
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Refinery
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[*] posted on 19-7-2020 at 13:20


We all agree that cooking drugs is off-limits here and few share sympathy for someone getting busted for trying to order phenylacetone. The ones who have real use, and usually the paperwork, like many businesses and institutions do, are a different matter.

What I was after that many amateurs can do experiments with reagents that may be harmless and without bad intentions, but for example in EU possessing HNO3 over 3%, 12% H2O2 or in future, even concentrated sulfuric acid are things that this kind of check-ups will lead you in trouble. Experimenting with any sort of energetics or pyrotechnics is illegal in many countries. Distilling ethyl alcohol is probably forbidden in almost every country except few (like NZ), and if they don't happen to be very nice and understanding, they can just bust you for moonshining. Committing any sort of crime will result in your equipment seized in many jurisdictions, and that could be huge setback for any amateur. Sad fact is that many people have something, somewhere to be unearthed if they're just dug deep and long enough, even if they never had any bad intentions at all, they just forgot something or haven't paid attention to some minor detail. For example, I know a case where a person lost all of his firearms licenses because he had forgot(most likely accidentally dropped) a single cartridge in his car. Some people may also make a scene if police show up to their door - their neighbors and family members may dislike it. When I was young and got interviewed for a matter not related to chemistry at all, my parents were very intimidated by the visit, even when was never a suspect for the matter.

Also, now that you mentioned quantities, what amounts you see as amateur, and what is exaggerating? I think that more special reagents are usually sufficient when bought in small quantities, like 100g to 500g max, but some bulk reagents, like sulfuric acid, may not be out of question even if bought in 25L canister because it's just cheap and it is used in pretty much everything.
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karlos³
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[*] posted on 19-7-2020 at 13:53


Quote: Originally posted by Eddie Current  
[
Ultimately, if a person is not engaging in any nefarious activities then they have nothing to fear in asking to purchase any chemicals...

I disagree, thats just like "when you have nothing to hide, why don't you show us everything you have?" kind of stuff.
I mean, even if we have nothing to hide, we still use curtains in front of our windows, no?

Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
We all agree that cooking drugs is off-limits here

Is it though?
Many drug synthesis discussion going around on here and related topics.
Its just more scientific.
But still cooking drugs, and I actually like the atmosphere to discuss drug synthesis on here.
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Eddie Current
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[*] posted on 19-7-2020 at 13:57


Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
What I was after that many amateurs can do experiments with reagents that may be harmless and without bad intentions, but for example in EU possessing HNO3 over 3%, 12% H2O2 or in future, even concentrated sulfuric acid are things that this kind of check-ups will lead you in trouble.


I cannot rationalize this insane scenario, which I assume is related to extremist ecological knee jerk politics. The European hobby chemist may have to navigate the legal fine print in order to conduct experimentation.

Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
Experimenting with any sort of energetics or pyrotechnics is illegal in many countries.


I am not familiar with these laws.

Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
Distilling ethyl alcohol is probably forbidden in almost every country except few (like NZ), and if they don't happen to be very nice and understanding, they can just bust you for moonshining.


This is a technicality that can be overcome, and in my location the distillation of "pure" 100% ethanol also requires a licence, but as most here would know, EtOH is typically sourced in 70-96% purity, which can be distilled to the standard 95-96% concentration and then dried with sieves immediately prior to use to an anhydrous state, which is technically not "distilling".

The devil is in the (legal) detail my friend.

Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
Committing any sort of crime will result in your equipment seized in many jurisdictions, and that could be huge setback for any amateur. Sad fact is that many people have something, somewhere to be unearthed if they're just dug deep and long enough, even if they never had any bad intentions at all, they just forgot something or haven't paid attention to some minor detail.


It pays to keep up to date with the laws of your location and to follow them scrupulously. In my location the onus is on the supplier to ensure that acquisition protocols are addressed, and once they are met, the hobbyist has a legal right to the amount of chemical granted. I would advise folks not to make and store amounts of precursors that contravene their local laws, and to only buy in amounts that are allowable if they are not purchasing through the normal channels. There are ways to navigate this, for example ammonium formate requires legal paperwork for more than 50 grams in my location, and cannot be purchased via industrial suppliers in those amounts, but it can be purchased in 98% purity in 50 gram lots from "boutique" outlets, thereby circumventing the need for legal oversight. If a hobbyist decided to make ammonium formate, and ensured that they only manufactured and stored 48 grams, then they do not have any issues. It pays to understand the "nuance" that applies to laws.

Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
For example, I know a case where a person lost all of his firearms licenses because he had forgot(most likely accidentally dropped) a single cartridge in his car.


Guns have received a bad wrap and there are hellish protocols applied in many locations now. If you're going to have firearms then it pays to know them, and I am surprised the victim of this overzealous application of law did not go to the courts to apply for leniency, unless there were other factors involved.

Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
Some people may also make a scene if police show up to their door - their neighbors and family members may dislike it. When I was young and got interviewed for a matter not related to chemistry at all, my parents were very intimidated by the visit, even when was never a suspect for the matter.


The authorities can show up at any time for any reason, right or wrong, and no one is insulated from this. I know if they show up at my residence to harass, then they better have their story straight as all of my items and work are documented, and I will have them in the courts immediately should they overstep the mark.

Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
Also, now that you mentioned quantities, what amounts you see as amateur, and what is exaggerating? I think that more special reagents are usually sufficient when bought in small quantities, like 100g to 500g max, but some bulk reagents, like sulfuric acid, may not be out of question even if bought in 25L canister because it's just cheap and it is used in pretty much everything.


I am mostly a small kit hobbyist (14/20-23 & under 1000ml), as I see no need to go any larger and waste time and money. I do have some chems in 1kg amounts because that's how they were packaged when I bought them, and I also have some acids & solvents that came in 5 litre containers. I also assure that my chemicals are classified and stored correctly in order to avoid any trouble on that front.

This can all be managed if folks take the time to think their way around it.
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[*] posted on 19-7-2020 at 14:08


Quote: Originally posted by karlos³  
Quote: Originally posted by Eddie Current  
[
Ultimately, if a person is not engaging in any nefarious activities then they have nothing to fear in asking to purchase any chemicals...

I disagree, thats just like "when you have nothing to hide, why don't you show us everything you have?" kind of stuff.
I mean, even if we have nothing to hide, we still use curtains in front of our windows, no?


You do not have privacy laws in your location?

All I know is that I am not engaging in any unlawful practices, and I would not take any shit from "authorities" that attempted to intimidate me for whatever reasons. The law cuts both ways.

Quote: Originally posted by karlos³  
Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
We all agree that cooking drugs is off-limits here

Is it though?
Many drug synthesis discussion going around on here and related topics.
Its just more scientific.
But still cooking drugs, and I actually like the atmosphere to discuss drug synthesis on here.


I agree, a lot of drug synthesis is very interesting and I wrote papers on the history of fentanyl synthesis in anesthetics when I studied drug development in university. However, there's a big difference between that and then discussing/contemplating illegal drug synthesis on a website, whilst discussing the requisitioning of listed precursors through formal channels. In my opinion that's just asking for legal trouble.

[Edited on 19-7-2020 by Eddie Current]
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Belowzero
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[*] posted on 19-7-2020 at 22:47


Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
We all agree that

What I was after that many amateurs can do experiments with reagents that may be harmless and without bad intentions, but for example in EU possessing HNO3 over 3%, 12% H2O2 or in future, even concentrated sulfuric acid are things that this kind of check-ups will lead you in trouble. Experimenting with any sort of energetics or pyrotechnics is illegal in many countries. Distilling ethyl alcohol is probably forbidden in almost every country except few (like NZ), and if they don't happen to be very nice and understanding, they can just bust you for moonshining. Committing any sort of crime will result in your equipment seized in many jurisdictions, and that could be huge setback for any amateur. Sad fact is that many people have something, somewhere to be unearthed if they're just dug deep and long enough, even if they never had any bad intentions at all, they just forgot something or haven't paid attention to some minor detail.


You are spot on with these remarks.
I think almost everyone here on SM will have at least one chemical that their local authorities can make a big deal out of.
As mentioned in the 'ban on sulfuric thread' as soon as this law will be in effect every home chemist will be violating the rules (if posession is held to the same standards as purchase?)
If stockpiling means 50L of sulfuric I am pretty sure a circus will be unleased on your ass.

Bureaucrats are unlikely to care much about your intent.



Quote:

I cannot rationalize this insane scenario, which I assume is related to extremist ecological knee jerk politics. The European hobby chemist may have to navigate the legal fine print in order to conduct experimentation.


It's meant to prevent energetic precursours from landing into the hands of amateurs.
I am pretty sure stealing car batteries will become illegal too!!
Typical EU thinking, the world must look strange from that ivory tower.

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zed
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[*] posted on 10-8-2020 at 20:24


Umm. The world changes. In the U.S., I can buy most things. Last time I checked, making pyrotechnics was just fine. In fact, I don't have make 'em. Come the 4th of July, we can buy things that are pretty outrageous.

Unless things have changed in the last few months, 10 bucks will still buy you a liter of concentrated H2SO4 at the local building supply. Suppliers of Biodiesel chemicals will sell you as much H2SO4 as you want.

Our problems are not in the buying of things, but in buying small quantities. Or, in the high price of shipping. Or, the grade of the reagent.

https://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=sa15

[Edited on 11-8-2020 by zed]

[Edited on 11-8-2020 by zed]
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draculic acid69
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[*] posted on 10-8-2020 at 20:30


Quote: Originally posted by zed  
Umm. The world changes. In the U.S., I can buy most things. Last time I checked, making pyrotechnics was just fine. In fact, I don't have make 'em. Come the 4th of July, we can buy things that are pretty outrageous.

Unless things have changed in the last few months, 10 bucks will still buy you a liter of concentrated H2SO4 at the local building supply. Suppliers of Biodiesel chemicals will sell you as much H2SO4 as you want.
Our problems are not in the buying of things, but in buying small quantities. Or, in the high price of shipping.

https://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=sa15


What is h2so4 used for in biodiesel manufacture?
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macckone
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[*] posted on 10-8-2020 at 20:37


There are a lot of things in the US that are hard to get.
Not because of government regulation but simply because chemical suppliers won't sell to hobbiest.
Then there is the explosives list and the drug precursor lists.
Items on those three lists can get you into trouble.
List 2 drug precursors usually won't but they can.
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zed
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[*] posted on 10-8-2020 at 20:38


Look it up! There are numerous techniques for making Biodiesel. The most common one is base catalysed.

Umm. Seems to me, there is a string on this site, regarding Biodiesel production.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S01968...


[Edited on 11-8-2020 by zed]
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