Turpentine Pine Tree Resin Products: Why So Valuable?

Chemistry, Plants
[caption id="attachment_16454" align="alignright" width="380"] Pine resin. CCA 3.0 SA Unported Maksim.[/caption] Turpentine was once a very common household solvent. It seemed as if every household had a can in their garage. Turpentine is produced by distillation of pine tree resin. The solid remaining after distillation is called rosin. Doubtless the decreased household use of turpentine is because of an increase in water-based products such as paints, replacing oil-based equivalents. Petroleum based solvents have contributed to the decline. Solvent Only? Still, turpentine is more than just a useful solvent. It can be separated into fragments sometimes referred to as isolates. The primary isolate is pine oil, which is used, among other things, in household cleaners. Turpentine yields compounds that are useful in chemical synthesis. Chemicals readily available from nature that can…
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Terpenes and Terpenoids: Isoprene Rule

There are thousands of chemical compounds in nature. They are divvied up into categories or classifications. These include hormones, alkaloids, vitamins, neurotransmitters, enzymes, proteins, and nucleic acids. One group of chemicals follows a structure rule called the isoprene rule. Many every day substances are part of this group. One example is turpentine. Another is beta-carotene (the source of the orange color in carrots). Chemicals such as these derived from isoprene are called terpenoids. Structure and Statement of the Isoprene Rule Isoprene consists of carbon and hydrogen. But it is not limited to single bonds. See the image of isoprene (C5H8) featured with this article. The double lines stand for double bonds. Since the carbon pairs involved have two bonds rather than one, a hydrogen atom is missing from each of them.…
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