Modified Cobalt Thiocyanate Presumptive Color Test for Ketamine Hydrochloride


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Jeremiah A. Morris, B.S.
Johnson County Sheriff's Office
Criminalistics Laboratory
6000 Lamar
Mission, KS 66202


ABSTRACT: A new presumptive color test for ketamine hydrochloride is reported. The test is a modification of the cobalt thiocyanate test currently used for cocaine and involves basifying samples rather than acidifying them. The two-step procedure for liquids and three-step procedure for powdered samples are straightforward, definitive, and utilize reagents commonly used in forensic drug analysis. The test works on ketamine hydrochloride in both powder and liquid form and has a sensitivity of c. 1.25 mg. Performing the test with numerous other controlled substances and related chemicals demonstrates the test to be highly selective.