Turpentine Oil

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Turpentine Oil


(also spirits of turpentine), a clear, colorless liquid with a sharp odor suggestive of pine. It has a boiling point of 153°–180°C and a density of 0.855–0.863 g/cm3. Turpentine oil is insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents. It is readily oxidized in air. Turpentine oil is obtained mainly from oleoresin by steam distillation (gum turpentine).

Turpentine oil is a multicomponent mixture of turpene hydrocarbons, and its composition depends to a great extent on the nature of the raw material. Turpentine oil made from the oleoresin of the common pine (Pinus silvestris) contains up to 78 percent pinenes, 10–18 percent 3-carene, 4–6 percent dipentene, and limonene. Turpentine oil is widely used in industry as a solvent for varnishes and paints and as a raw material in the production of camphor, terpin hydrate, Flotation Oil, lubricating oils, insecticides, and perfumes. In medicine, turpentine oil is used in a preparation that acts as a local stimulant, anesthetic, and antiseptic. It is used externally in ointments for neuralgia and myositis.

Turpentine oils of lesser importance include steam-distilled wood turpentine, obtained by extraction or steam distillation from pine stumps or tarred trunk wood, destructively distilled wood turpentine, obtained by the destructive distillation from the same raw materials, and the turpentine, known as sulfate turpentine, obtained as a by-product of the cellulose sulfate process.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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