Determination of opiate alkaloids in process liquors using capillary electrophoresis

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Abstract

This paper describes the determination of opiate alkaloids (morphine, codeine, oripavine and thebaine) in industrial process liquors using capillary zone electrophoresis with UV-absorption detection at 214 nm. A study of cyclodextrin type and concentration revealed that the addition of 30 mM hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin to the electrolyte solution (100 mM Tris adjusted to pH 2.8) was suitable to resolve the four analytes of interest. Typical analysis time was 12 min and the limit of detection for each alkaloid was 2.5 × 10−6 M. The results for the proposed methodology were in good agreement with those of a conventional HPLC procedure. Under the same conditions, short-end injection was used to reduce the effective separation length from 41.5 to 8.5 cm, which allowed the determination of morphine and thebaine in process liquors within 2.5 min.

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