Characterization by TGA, SEM, and EDX of Polymeric Matrices Used as Cocaine Camouflages

  •  Carlos A. Díaz V    
  •  William F. Garzón M    
  •  Juan C. Higuita V    
  •  Elisabeth. Restrepo-Parra    


In this work, a study of samples that contained cocaine camouflaged inside unidentified polymers was performed. Samples were seized at the Dorado International airport in Colombia. Cocaine was adsorbed or occluded within the matrix. The objective of this research was to extract cocaine from the matrices using soxhlet extraction method. Thereafter matrices were analyzed to determine the surface morphology before and after the extraction. Several morphological differences were exhibited between samples including both adsorbed and occluded cocaine. Moreover, changes in the surface morphology were also observed before and after cocaine extraction. The chemical elemental composition of matrices was also studied using energy dispersive spectroscopy, observing that the alkaloid was totally removed in almost all samples after the extraction process. On the other hand, Thermo gravimetric analysis also allows comparing the results obtained for the samples with patterns of pure cocaine and other polymers as CMC, PVA and HEC, finding several similarities of structural type.

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