A New Protocol For Artificial Urine To More Accurately Simulate Human Urine

If you’re going through drug treatment and need to hide your drug use, there’s no better way to do it than by taking in fake urine. But is this really necessary? Can’t we just buy some real urine online and have someone mail it to us? Well, the answer lies in chemistry. 

A recent study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology explores the role that a chemical called guaiacol plays in determining whether best synthetic urine will work as well at concealing drug use as a lab-made product would. Guaiacol is an organic compound found in plant matter like wood pulp and coffee beans. It smells like freshly cut grass or pine needles. The scientists who conducted the study are hoping their findings will help chemists improve on today’s synthetic urine kits.

To start off, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. A few years back, law enforcement officials started getting calls from people using synthetic urine kits (SUKs) saying they were suspicious about how much water was in the bags. Some SUKs turned out to be loaded with water. Others didn’t contain enough liquid for the test strip to turn red. This led authorities to question whether these kits were actually providing any protection against drug testing. They began investigating why this was happening. 

The researchers conducting the new study found that most of the synthetic urine kits available on the market consisted of a base made up of two ingredients: polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and guaiacol. As part of their investigation, the scientists tested the effectiveness of different synthetic urine kits made with PVP and guaiacol alone. In addition to the two chemicals that make up the majority of synthetic urine kits, they also included guaiacol mixed with other compounds such as citric acid and urea.

They discovered that while PVP and guaiacol are effective at masking traces of drugs, none of the mixtures of the two chemicals were as good at concealing them as pure guaiacol. Pure guaiacol doesn’t smell like anything but it does react with many substances including catecholamines, which are produced naturally by our bodies during stress. That reaction produces a reddish color and is what makes the test strips of synthetic urine kits turn red when exposed to urine containing trace amounts of cocaine. 

In order to create a mixture that mimicked the natural reactions occurring in the human body, the scientists tried mixing guaiacol with citric acid and urea. Citric acid is an organic compound that contains three carbon atoms. The first two of those carbons are hydrogens and one of the hydrocarbons has an oxygen atom attached to it. The third carbon is a carbon with a hydrogen atom attached to it. 

Citric acid is used in food preservation and medicine. It can be found in orange juice, lemonade, and many other common foods. Urea is another organic compound composed of four nitrogen atoms joined together. It is often used as a fertilizer. 

When guaiacol reacted with citric acid and urea, the result wasn’t so great. The colors on the strips weren’t nearly as intense as they were when the test strips were exposed to pure guaiacol. While the strips turned bright pink when exposed to urine containing catecholamines, they only turned bright green if they were exposed to urine with guaiacol. The reason behind that difference is because when citric acid and urea are added to the guaiacol, the pH of the solution changes. When a substance changes its pH, the molecules within it change shape slightly.

This means the chemical bonds holding the molecules together get stronger and weaker. What happens next depends on the type of molecule you’re talking about. If a molecule is very strong, then it holds the molecules together more tightly. If a molecule is weak, it can break apart easily. With guaiacol, the strength of the molecule depends on the concentration of citric acid and urea. At low concentrations of these two compounds, the molecules are very weak and can break apart easily. However, at higher concentrations, they become stronger and hold the molecules together more strongly.

In conclusion, the authors state that “guaiacol remains a viable option for SUK manufacture.” They add, however, that it should be supplemented with citric acid and urea to produce a more desirable synthetic urine product.