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Monday, August 19, 2013

Popular Science: The chemistry behind Walter White's meth

Early in the show, Walt abandons the real-life technique of transforming Sudafed, an over-the-counter decongestant, into meth. Sudafed—watched closely by the Drug Enforcement Administration—is a permanent bottleneck for any would-be meth cook. Instead, Walt refines a process to synthesize the drug from the ground up: the P2P cook. Though Parkinson himself has never made methamphetamine, he says Walt's P2P formula is true to science—with one crucial caveat. 

Every step of Walt's P2P cook mirrors the real chemical process. But would this procedure done perfectly—with the right temperatures, timing, and methods—produce Walt's nearly 100 percent pure methamphetamine? Not even close.

Related post: The real-life chemistry teacher who showed Breaking Bad how to make meth.

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