Date of Award

Summer 6-28-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science



First Advisor or Mentor

Elise Champeil

Second Reader

Marta Concheiro-Gusian

Third Advisor

Lilliana Davalos


Cocaine is derived from the Erythroxylum coca plant, is a highly addictive stimulant abused all over the world. There are two types of Erythroxylum coca plants that produce cocaine; the E. Coca and E. Novogranatense. Cocaine exists as the salt, and the freebase which is typically referred to as “crack” due to the crackling sound it makes when heated. It is popular because it is inexpensive and easily available on the streets, mainly in poor urban areas. The purpose of this project was to determine the amount of cocaine that can be extracted from E.coca and to assess which analytical technique, High Performance Liquid Chromatography or Gas Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy, is better to quantify the amount extracted. The amount of cocaine extracted from 3.0g of E.Coca leaves using GCMS and HPLC is, respectively, 3.90 x10-6g and 1.53 x10-5g. The limit of detection for both GCMS and HPLC was 0.002µg/mL and 0.004µg/mL respectively, and the limit of quantification was 0.008µg/mL for GCMS and 0.116µg/mL for the HPLC.



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