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To a well stirred, cooled mixture of 34g of 30% H202 (hydrogen peroxide) in 150g 80% HCO2H (formic acid) there was added, dropwise, a solution of 32.4g isosafrole in 120ml acetone at a rate that kept the reaction mixture from exceeding 40 deg C. This required a bit over 1 hour, and external cooling was used as necessary. Stirring was continued for 16 hours, and care was taken that the slow exothermic reaction did not cause excess heating. An external bath with running water worked well. During this time the solution progressed from an orange color to a deep red. All volatile components were removed under vacuum which yielded some 60g of a very deep residue. This was dissolved in 60ml of MeOH (methyl alcohol -- methanol), treated with 360ml of 15% H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), and heated for 3 hours on the steam bath. After cooling the mixture was extracted with 3x75ml Et2O (diethyl ether) or C6H6 (benzene). Its recommended that, the pooled extracts can washed -- first with H2O and then with dilute NaOH (sodium hydroxide). Then the solvent is removed under vacuum to afford 20.6g 3,4-methylenedioxyphenylacetone (3,4-methylenedioxybenzyl methyl ketone). The final residue may be distilled at 2.0mm/108-112 deg C, or at about 160 deg C at the water pump.

Add 23g 3,4-methylenedioxyphenylacetone to 65g HCONH2 (formamide) and heat at 190 deg for five hours. Cool, add 100ml H20, extract with C6H6 (benzene) and evaporate in vacuum the extract. Add 8ml MeOH (methyl alcohol -- methanol) and 75ml 15% HCl to residue, heat on water bath two hours and extract in vacuum (or basify with KOH and extract the oil with benzene and dry, evaporate in vacuum) to get 11.7 g 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA).
To produce MDMA substitute N-methylformamide for formamide in the above synthesis.

--------------NOTES AND SHIT------------------------BY KEVIN-------------------

formic acid / methanoic acid:
-The principal use of formic acid is as a preservative and antibacterial agent in livestock feed. When sprayed on fresh hay or other silage, it arrests certain decay processes and causes the feed to retain its nutritive value longer, and so it is widely used to preserve winter feed for cattle. In the poultry industry, it is sometimes added to feed to kill salmonella bacteria.
-Some beekeepers use formic acid as a miticide against the Varroa mite.
-Formic acid is of minor importance in the textile industry and in the tanning of leather. Some formate esters are artificial flavorings or perfumes. It is the active ingredient in some brands of household limescale remover.

Conversion from safrole to isosafrole appears to be fairly
simple. This is outlined in Aphetamines from Propenylbenzenes, Journal of
Medicinal Chemistry, 9,445(1966) and Canadian Journal of Chemistry, 43,
3437, (1965). The method involves refluxing (or heating on a steam
bath) safrole (or any allyl isomer) with an equal weights of potassium
hydroxide (KOH) and absolute ethanol for 24 hours. Then dry and evaporate
in a vacuum. Recrystallise with hexane.
Isosafrole is used to synthesise MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)
as it is a better starting reagent than safrole (no Ritter reaction required).

is oil from a plant called sassafras. it is 70-90% safrole oil. you can vacum distill this to get pure safrole oil. other plants have safrole oil in it, like nutmeg. try to eat afew tablespoons of nutmeg and you'll have a 'nutmeg' trip. you can probably just use the sassafras oil straight up with out distilling. that would go best with, if you bought it from a herb/tea.. whatever, shop.

Preparation of N-methylformamide

Preparation of N-Methyl Amides (abbreviated)

The most generally useful method was to drop acid chloride very slowly, with constant stirring, into three moles of amine in concentrated aqueous solution. The temperature was kept at -20 to -10°C during the addition. The methyl amides were caused to separate by the addition of solid caustic potash to the mixture. The separated amide was dried over caustic potash and distilled. Yields run from 85 to 95%. Similar yields were obtained when the amine was passed into a soln of the acid chloride in dry toluene at -10°C followed by the addition of 20% sodium hydroxide solution. For comparison various other methods of preparing amides were tried. The reaction of dry methylamine on esters proved to be very slow but with an excess of the aqueous amine, 68% of the heptamine was obtained after several days. From the sodium salt of an acid and methylamine hydrochloride, a good yield was obtained but it was difficult to purify. Acetamide and its sodium salt were methylated, yields 50-60%. The methyl amides of formic and acetic were obtained by passing the amine through the heated acids.

Reference: D'Alelio and Reid, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 59, 109 (1937)


Sodium metal (1.38 g, 60 mmol) was dissolved in 100 mL of anhydrous methanol under gentle reflux. To this solution of sodium methoxide, first 3.7 mL (60 mmol) of methyl formate was added and then 4.00 g (59 mmol) of methylammonium chloride under cooling with and ice bath. The solution was stirred overnight at room temperature. The suspension was filtered over celite and the filtrate was carefully concentrated in vacuo (30°C, 20 mmHg). The residue was taken up in dichloromethane and the precipitated salts were removed by filtration. The filtrate was dried on MgSO4, filtered again and the solvent was carefully evaporated in vacuo. This resulted in 3.49 g of N-methylformamide (99% yield).

Reference: J Cappon et al., Rec. Trav. Chim. Pays-Bas 113, 318 (1994)