- About Nicotine
We are often asked about the coloring of our nicotine.
In "Analytical Determination of Nicotine and Related Compounds and their Metabolites" by J.W. Gorrod and P. Jacob III they state, "[...]Pure nicotine is a colorless liquid with a characteristic acrimonious odor. On exposure to air and light, or even on standing in the dark in a sealed bottle, over time the colorless or pale yellow oily liquid becomes the brownish color of stored nicotine. Brown colored nicotine is as toxic as pure colorless or pale yellow nicotine[...]" indicating that the color change in nicotine is a direct result of age. As the nicotine ages it will come into contact with light, heat and oxygen which will all contribute to a color change.
There are two primary methods of nicotine extraction: the first, and most common in pharmaceutical grade manufacturers, is the distillation process. In this process they remove the natural impurities from the plant based liquid and leave you with the nicotine liquid. The alternative practice is to utilize salt processing and turn the liquid into a sulfate. This requires a bleaching agent to remove the impurities and then is reconstituted with a liquid to turn it back into a useable form. Bleached liquid appears to be more clear and is therefore is frequently mistaken as being more pure. In fact, the nicotine that goes through the distillation process is more refined. Regardless of method, the color of the nicotine is purely cosmetic and plays no real determining factor in judging which is purer or of higher quality.
The moment you open our nicotine bottle it starts the oxidization process. Once the nicotine begins oxidizing the color will begin to change into a yellow, rusty, or even pink color. After you open your bottle and shake it you will automatically oxidize your whole bottle. Some have noticed that nicotine oxidizes faster in VG and that lower nicotine e-liquids sometimes remain clear for longer because of how diluted it is in PG and VG.
The quality and concentration of nicotine cannot be determined by color and plays no role other than to attest to the age of the product, or alternatively, the oxidation or exposure to heat of the product.