Propionyl Chloride

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Propionyl chloride (also propanoyl chloride) is the organic compound with the formula CH3CH2C(O)Cl. It is the acyl chloride derivative of propionic acid. It undergoes the characteristic reactions of acyl chlorides. It is a colorless, corrosive, volatile liquid.

It is used as a reagent for organic synthesis.

Propionyl chloride can be used to make fentanyl, a powerful and dangerous synthetic opioid, and ephedrine, a key ingredient in methamphetamine. Propionyl chloride is not on the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) list because it has plenty of legitimate uses, such as the production of agricultural chemicals and pharmaceuticals. However, the INCB recommends nations subject it to “special surveillance.”

Asia’s multibillion dollar methamphetamine cartels are using Propionyl Chloride to outfox police. Experts floated the theory that cartels were importing chemicals like propionyl chloride and employing world-class chemists to produce their own ingredients to make meth – like buying the flour to make a pie crust instead of just purchasing a pre-made one.

The law enforcement community often calls these chemicals “pre-precursors” or “non-scheduled-precursors.” They are made and sold legally but diverted for illicit use at some point in the supply chain.

Federal Register Proposed Rule: Placement of Propionyl Chloride in Schedule I (Oct 12, 2023)

National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators Federal Tax ID: 52-1660752 / DUNS Number: 073539913

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