Extraction of morphine from poppy capsules and its recovery by ion exchange



An efficient method for obtaining morphine from domestically grown poppies has been developed. Morphine was completely extracted from dried poppy capsules with water-saturated isobutanol containing 0.23% ammonia. By passage of the extract through a cation exchange resin bed, practically all of the alkaloid was adsorbed. Quantitative elution of morphine from the bed was achieved with dilute aqueous alkali. Crude morphine obtained by precipitation from the neutralized and concentrated eluate could be converted to pharmaceutical grade hydrochloride without difficulty. The overall recovery of morphine was 90%.