Screening van recreatieve drugs en kwalificatie en kwalificatie van 3,4-methyleendioxyamfetamine (MDMA) met behulp van infrarood (IR)-technieken en chemometrische modellen

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Introduction: Knowing which banned substances are circulating is essential for developing and adapting the Belgian drug policy. Hereto information is obtained by sample analysis of tablets collected during the festival season. Prohibited drugs were identified and quantified.
Objective: Samples collected during the 2017 festival season were analyzed. The BEWSD (Belgian Early Warning System on Drugs) use these results to set measures that ensure an accurate drug approach. The main objective of this approach is to warn society (drug users and not users) for the risks of using prohibited drugs. In addition to classical analyses, qualification and quantification measurements of 3,4methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA) using IR techniques has been explored as well.
Methods: 153 samples were used, these samples were described, measured, weighted and photographed before the analysis took place. For the qualification and quantification of drugs gas chromatography + mass spectrometry and ultraviolet/visible light spectrophotometry were carried out. Spectra were measured of both the intact and the cruched tablets using IR techniques. Chemometrics was used to build up qualification and quantification models for MDMA.
Results: 116 samples contained MDMA as an active ingredient, in 6 tablets MDMA was combined with another ingredient, 6 other active substances were identified and to 13 samples no active component could be linked. The average content of MDMA in the analyzed tablets is 150.4 mg; the tablet with the highest amount of MDMA contained 211.4 mg. The best results for qualification and quantification of MDMA via IR were obtained while using nearby infrared (IR)-light and the cruched tablets. The correctness of the built-up models has been tested by using an external dataset. Qualification based on the presence of MDMA was possible. All samples were classified correctly. For MDMA-quantification the average deviation was 17,97% compared with the results obtained with ultraviolet/visible light spectrophotometry.
Conclusion: The popularity of MDMA has been proven. The results obtained by IRtechniques were a first test in the context of a proof-of-concept. Further data analysis is needed.
Date of Award2019
Original languageDutch


  • Illegal drugs
  • festivals
  • Belgian Early Warning System on Drugs
  • 3,4methylenedioxyamphetamine
  • infrared spectrophotometry

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