So here is my question. This may be controversial for some, but I would like to tell you it is purely speculative and has no bearing on anything I would actually do.

If one has in their hands a bottle of Tylenol 2 (codeine phosphate, caffeine, & acetaminophen). Each pill containing 8 mg codeine phosphate, 15 mg caffeine, & 300 mg of acetaminophen within each capsule (I am unsure of the ratio or weights of any binders with the capsule). If someone wanted to isolate the codeine phosphate and remove all of the APAP and caffeine in the process what would you do? I personally have a theory, but it is untested:

  1. Cold extraction of APAP from codeine phosphate/caffiene in water mixture.
  2. Filtration of Cold Extraction mixture. (removing ALL APAP from mixture).
  3. Dissolving of organic compound (caffeine) from water/codeine phosphate mixture with dichloromethane reagent.
  4. Utilize a separation funnel to remove dichloromethane from $\ce{H2O}$ mixture.
  5. Utilize a chemistry hotplate with the new mixture to reduce the amount of water to zero ($0$) using controlled evaporation. Maintaining $\pu{32^\circ C}$ or different temperature?
  6. Harvest pure codeine phosphate from bottom of evaporated flask and weight using proper scale for highest precision when weighting the final product.

Is this a good method or is there something more effective, simpler etc.? remember this is all done with products that are affordable to the average person, not prime lab equipment. Just basic chemical stuff for the most part.

I would like to make another comment noting my lack of chemistry knowledge, so please no unnecessary comments pointing that out.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Cold water extraction? $\endgroup$ – Todd Minehardt Aug 2 '17 at 3:50
  • $\begingroup$ A cold water extraction is done by mixing pulverized pills into luke warm water and setting in a fridge or freezer until the non water soluble APAP Settles at the bottom of the flask. Then the mixture is filtered so that only the codeine phosphate and caffeine are filtered through as they are both water soluble. The APAP is thus removed by the filter. And then we continue with the other aforementioned steps to isolate the codeine phosphate. $\endgroup$ – That Guy Aug 2 '17 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I had not read the relevant part of your post (I am aware of how the procedure is done). $\endgroup$ – Todd Minehardt Aug 2 '17 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe look up the solubilities? Caffeine is not that soluble in cold water either. Using pH adjustment may get you to where you need to be without resorting to dichloromethane. $\endgroup$ – Beerhunter Aug 3 '17 at 0:11
  • $\begingroup$ Temperatures can be easily adjusted if need be. Thus, changing the solubility of any one of the components used in this experiment to allow the process to work better & without problems. I have not seen a PH adjustment method used with this kind of thing. But, It would be a serious health issue if any of this went wrong. Definitely not something to gamble with. As APAP is highly liver toxic and Caffeine in the levels they would be concentrated at would wire you and your heart. I feel Dichloromethane may be the best way to guarantee mitigation of this. $\endgroup$ – That Guy Aug 3 '17 at 17:59

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