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GC–MS Analysis of gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid Analogs

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2007

An upper-division forensic chemistry experiment is described that involves using glycolic acid and sodium glycolate as analogs of γ-hydroxybutyric acid and its sodium salt.


The experiment shows the use of silylation in GC–MS analysis and gives students the opportunity to work with a commonly used silylating reagent, N,O-bis[trimethylsilyl]trifluoroacetamide (BSTFA). GC–MS is used to show the problem with analyzing an organic acid without derivatization and to analyze the products of silylation. (Publisher abstract provided)

Date Published: November 1, 2007