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Malate mesc salt isolation Options
#1 Posted : 12/27/2022 7:00:53 PM
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I read a comment embedded deep in a post on here by a user who only contributed to that one conversation. In it they identified themselves as having an organic chemistry background. They also said that after 30+ years of propagating and working with cacti they discovered that mesc is naturally produced and thus available in the plant in the form of a malate salt.

They also mentioned having come up with a method to isolate and purify the natural malate salt form of mesc without using organic solvents or a two phase separatory funnel step.

Having no knowledge of organic chem myself, I thought it would be interesting to ask a new friend (chatGPT) if it could help me come up with a way to isolate and purify a malate salt from an aqueous solution containing mucilage, tannins, polyphenols, glucosinolates, flavonoids and other impurities.

I am wondering if anyone with any org chem knowledge thinks either of these solutions would be viable:

1. Mix the aqueous solution containing the malate salt with a precipitation reagent (e.g. barium chloride) to precipitate the malate salt.

2. Filter the mixture using a Buchner funnel to separate the solid malate salt from the liquid.

3. Rinse the solid malate salt several times with distilled water to remove any impurities.

4. Place the solid malate salt on a watch glass and dry in an oven at a low temperature (60-80 °C) for several hours.


1. Collect the aqueous solution containing the malate salt and filter it through a filter paper to remove the mucilage, tannins, polyphenols, glucosinolates, flavonoids and any other suspended solids.

2. Adjust the pH of the filtrate to around 8.5 using 0.1M NaOH solution. This will allow for the malate salt to become insoluble and precipitate out of the solution.

3. Filter the solution again to collect the malate salt.

4. Rinse the salt with distilled water several times to remove any residual impurities.

5. Dry the malate salt in an oven at 60°C or in a desiccator.

6. Store the purified malate salt in an airtight container.

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#2 Posted : 12/27/2022 7:09:24 PM
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This was another seemingly viable procedure the AI came up with... Again, I have literally no experience with or knowledge of org chem to go off of, so please tell me if any of these make sense.

1. Start by adding a precipitant, such as calcium chloride, to the aqueous solution. This will cause the salt to precipitate out of solution.
2. Carefully filter the solution to remove the suspended solid particles.
3. Wash the precipitated solid with distilled water.
4. Transfer the solid to a beaker and add a small amount of acetone.
5. Stir the mixture until the solid dissolves.
6. Filter the solution to remove any impurities.
7. Evaporate the acetone to form a solid.
8. Collect the dried solid and store in a sealed container.
#3 Posted : 12/28/2022 4:20:09 AM

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The problem with those ideas is you'll likely end up with calcium or barium malates, the latter of which is particularly undesirable given the toxicity of barium compounds. The mescaline would remain in solution as the hydrochloride, along with whatever excess metal chloride may have been added, or the mesc malate if insufficient metal chloride was added.

Technically the chatGPT was correct but that was presumably because your question was ambiguous and you only asked for the precipitation of a malate salt rather than mescaline malate. Or am I wrong about this? How was your question phrased?

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