Topics - Pinene

Pinene Pinene exists in two forms, a-pinene (2,6,6,-Trimethylbicyclo[3.2.1.] hept-2-ene) and B-pinene (6,6,Dimethyl-2-methylenebicyclo[3.1.1.] heptane). Both forms are present in many essential oils but are mostly obtained from turpentine (obtained by the dry distillation of wood or other dry botanical material). Turpentine contains 58%-65% a-pinene and about 30% of B-pinene. Both pinenes are hydrocarbons and have a molecular weight of 136.23, and contain 88.16% of carbon, 11.84% of hydrogen. The a pinene obtained in North American oils is largely dextrorotary whereas the European oils are levorotary. The majority of B pinene, irrespective of its origin, is levorotary. As examples, a pinene and B pinene are found in Cedar Wood oil, orange oil, mandarin peel oil and in many fragrances. Like many essential oil constituents, the pinenes are thermally labile and need to separated by gas chromatography with considerable caution.