Synonyms: Essence of turpenthine; Essence de térébenthine; Aceite de Trementina; Pinene isomer; pin-2(3)-ene; PINENE, ALPHA; DL-Pin-2(3)-ene; 4,6,6-Trimethylbicyklo(3,1,1)hept-3-en; 2,6,6-trimethyl-Bicyclo(3.1.1)hept-2-ene; 2,6,6-trimethyl-bicyclo[3.1.1]hept-2-ene; Bicyclo(3.1.1)hept-2-ene, 2,6,6-trimethyl
Turpentine is a fluid obtained by the distillation of resin harvested from living trees, mainly pines.
Essence of turpenthine; Essence de térébenthine; terebentin; Aceite de Trementina, Essence de Térébenthine, huile de Pin, Essence de térébenthine, Essence de térébenthine Purifiée, Pinus australis, Pinus palustris, Pinus pinaster, Purified térébenthine Oil, Spirits of térébenthine, Térébenthine, Terebinthinae Aetheroleum, térébenthine.; Essence of turpenthine; Essence de térébenthine; terebentin; Aceite de Trementina, Essence de Térébenthine, huile de Pin, Essence de térébenthine, Essence de térébenthine Purifiée, Pinus australis, Pinus palustris, Pinus pinaster, Purified térébenthine Oil, Spirits of térébenthine, Térébenthine, Terebinthinae Aetheroleum, térébenthine.; ALPHA-PINENE; 2-Pinene; 80-56-8; Acintene , .alpha.-Pinene; 2,6,6; Trimethylbicyclo[3.1.1]hept-2-ene; Pinene isomer; pin-2(3)-ene; PINENE, ALPHA; DL-Pin-2(3)-ene; 4,6,6-Trimethylbicyklo(3,1,1)hept-3-en; 2,6,6-trimethyl-Bicyclo(3.1.1)hept-2-ene; 2,6,6-trimethyl-bicyclo[3.1.1]hept-2-ene; Bicyclo(3.1.1)hept-2-ene, 2,6,6-trimethyl; (1S)-2,6,6-Trimethylbicyclo[3.1.1]hept-2-ene; alpha-Pinene, 97%,; stabilized with alpha-Tocopherol; 4,6,6-Trimethylbicyklo(3,1,1)hept-3-en [Czech]; alphapinene; alpha pinene; alpha-Pinene, phosphosulfurized an alpha-pinene; Cyclic dexadiene
alpha.-pinene; Sylvapine A; 2-Pinene, (1S,5S)-(-)-; Acitene A; Alpha Pinene PF; 1R-alpha-Pinene; ALPHA-PINENE; 2-Pinene; 80-56-8; Acintene , .alpha.-Pinene; 2,6,6; Trimethylbicyclo[3.1.1]hept-2-ene; Pinene isomer; pin-2(3)-ene; PINENE, ALPHA; DL-Pin-2(3)-ene; 4,6,6-Trimethylbicyklo(3,1,1)hept-3-en; 2,6,6-trimethyl-Bicyclo(3.1.1)hept-2-ene; 2,6,6-trimethyl-bicyclo[3.1.1]hept-2-ene; Bicyclo(3.1.1)hept-2-ene, 2,6,6-trimethyl; (1S)-2,6,6-Trimethylbicyclo[3.1.1]hept-2-ene; alpha-Pinene, 97%,; stabilized with alpha-Tocopherol; 4,6,6-Trimethylbicyklo(3,1,1)hept-3-en [Czech]; alphapinene; alpha pinene; alpha-Pinene, phosphosulfurized an alpha-pinene; Cyclic dexadiene alpha.-pinene; Sylvapine A; 2-Pinene, (1S,5S)-(-)-; Acitene A; Alpha Pinene PF; 1R-alpha-Pinene; Essence of turpenthine; Essence de térébenthine; terebentin; Aceite de Trementina, Essence de Térébenthine, huile de Pin, Essence de térébenthine, Essence de térébenthine Purifiée; terebentine; terebenthine; huile de térébenthine; Essence de térébenthine
Essence of Turpentine
For other uses, see Turpentine (disambiguation).
Chemical structure of α-pinene, a major component of turpentine
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Chemical formula C10H16
Molar mass 136.238 g·mol−1
Appearance Viscous liquid
Melting point −55 °C (−67 °F; 218 K)
Boiling point 154 °C (309 °F; 427 K)
Solubility in water 20 mg/L 
GHS pictograms GHS02: FlammableGHS08: Health hazardGHS07: HarmfulGHS09: Environmental hazard
GHS Signal word Danger
Flash point 35 °C (95 °F; 308 K)
temperature 220 °C (428 °F; 493 K)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Turpentine (which is also called spirit of turpentine, oil of turpentine, wood turpentine, terebenthene, terebinthine and (colloquially), turps) is a fluid obtained by the distillation of resin harvested from living trees, mainly pines. Mainly used as a specialized solvent, it is also a source of material for organic syntheses.
Turpentine is composed of terpenes, primarily the monoterpenes alpha- and beta-pinene, with lesser amounts of carene, camphene, dipentene, and terpinolene.
The word turpentine derives (via French and Latin), from the Greek word τερεβινθίνη terebinthine, in turn the feminine form (to conform to the feminine gender of the Greek word, which means "resin") of an adjective (τερεβίνθινος) derived from the Greek noun (τερέβινθος), for the tree species terebinth. Mineral turpentine or other petroleum distillates are used to replace[why?] turpentine – although their chemistries are very different.[how?]
"Herty system" in use on turpentine trees in Northern Florida, circa 1936
Chipping a turpentine tree in Georgia (US), circa 1906-20
Turpentine distillery at Manlyn, North Carolina
One of the earliest sources of turpentine was the terebinth or turpentine tree (Pistacia terebinthus), a Mediterranean tree related to the pistachio. Important pines for turpentine production include: maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis), Masson's pine (Pinus massoniana), Sumatran pine (Pinus merkusii), longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). Canada balsam, also called Canada turpentine or balsam of fir, is a turpentine that is made from the oleoresin of the balsam fir. Venice turpentine is produced from the western larch Larix occidentalis.
To tap into the sap producing layers of the tree, turpentiners used a combination of hacks to remove the pine bark. Once debarked, pine trees secrete oleoresin onto the surface of the wound as a protective measure to seal the opening, resist exposure to micro-organisms and insects, and prevent vital sap loss. Turpentiners wounded trees in V-shaped streaks down the length of the trunks to channel the oleoresin into containers. It was then collected and processed into spirits of turpentine. Oleoresin yield may be increased by as much as 40% by applying paraquat herbicides to the exposed wood.
The V-shaped cuts are called "catfaces" for their resemblance to a cat's whiskers. These marks on a pine tree signify it was used to collect resin for turpentine production.
Converting oleoresin to turpentine
Crude oleoresin collected from wounded trees may be evaporated by steam distillation in a copper still. Molten rosin remains in the still bottoms after turpentine has been distilled out. Turpentine may alternatively be condensed from destructive distillation of pine wood.
Oleoresin may also be extracted from shredded pine stumps, roots, and slash using the light end of the heavy naphtha fraction (boiling between 90 and 115 °C or 195 and 240 °F) from a crude oil refinery. Multi-stage counter-current extraction is commonly used so fresh naphtha first contacts wood leached in previous stages and naphtha laden with turpentine from previous stages contacts fresh wood before vacuum distillation to recover naphtha from the turpentine. Leached wood is steamed for additional naphtha recovery prior to burning for energy recovery.
When producing chemical wood pulp from pines or other coniferous trees, sulfate turpentine may be condensed from the gas generated in Kraft process pulp digesters. The average yield of crude sulfate turpentine is 5–10 kg/t pulp. Unless burned at the mill for energy production, sulfate turpentine may require additional treatment measures to remove traces of sulfur compounds.
Industrial and other end uses
As a solvent, turpentine is used for thinning oil-based paints, for producing varnishes, and as a raw material for the chemical industry. Its use as a solvent in industrialized nations has largely been replaced by the much cheaper turpentine substitutes obtained from petroleum. A solution of turpentine and beeswax or carnauba wax has long been used as a furniture wax (e.g., tung oil).
Source of organic compounds
Turpentine is also used as a source of raw materials in the synthesis of fragrant chemical compounds. Commercially used camphor, linalool, alpha-terpineol, and geraniol are all usually produced from alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, which are two of the chief chemical components of turpentine. These pinenes are separated and purified by distillation. The mixture of diterpenes and triterpenes that is left as residue after turpentine distillation is sold as rosin.
Turpentine and petroleum distillates such as coal oil and kerosene have been used medicinally since ancient times, as topical and sometimes internal home remedies. Topically, it has been used for abrasions and wounds, as a treatment for lice, and when mixed with animal fat it has been used as a chest rub, or inhaler for nasal and throat ailments. Many modern chest rubs, such as the Vicks variety, still contain turpentine in their formulations.
Turpentine, now understood to be dangerous for consumption, was a common medicine among seamen during the Age of Discovery. It is one of several products carried aboard Ferdinand Magellan's fleet in his first circumnavigation of the globe. Taken internally it was used as a treatment for intestinal parasites. This is dangerous, due to the chemical's toxicity.
Turpentine enemas, a very harsh purgative, had formerly been used for stubborn constipation or impaction. Turpentine enemas were also given punitively to political dissenters in post-independence Argentina.
Turpentine is also added to many cleaning and sanitary products due to its antiseptic properties and its "clean scent".
In early 19th-century America, turpentine was sometimes burned in lamps as a cheap alternative to whale oil. It was most commonly used for outdoor lighting, due to its strong odour. A blend of ethanol and turpentine called camphine served as the dominant lamp fuel replacing whale oil until the arrival of kerosene.
In 1946, Soichiro Honda fueled the first Honda motorcycles with turpentine, due to the scarcity of gasoline in Japan following World War II.
In his Book If Only They Could Talk, veterinarian and author James Herriot describes the use of its reaction with resublimed iodine to "drive the iodine into the tissue" - or perhaps just impress the watching customer with a spectacular treatment.
Turpentine was added extensively into gin during the Gin Craze.
NFPA 704 four-colored diamond
As an organic solvent, its vapour can irritate the skin and eyes, damage the lungs and respiratory system, as well as the central nervous system when inhaled, and cause damage to the renal system when ingested, among other things. Ingestion can cause burning sensations, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, confusion, convulsions, diarrhea, and unconsciousness.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set the legal limit (permissible exposure limit) for turpentine exposure in the workplace as 100 ppm (560 mg/m3) over an 8-hour workday. The same threshold was adopted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as the recommended exposure limit (REL). At levels of 8000 ppm (4,448 mg/m3), turpentine is immediately dangerous to life and health.
Charles Herty – Chemist, academic, businessman, football coach
Naval stores industry
Retsina – A resinated wine from Greece
Russia leather, a water-resistant leather, using a birch oil distillate similar to turpentine in its manufacture.
White spirit, also known as Turpentine substitute – Petroleum-derived clear, transparent liquid / / Mineral spirit
What other names is Turpentine Oil known by?
Aceite de Trementina, Essence de Térébenthine, Huile de Pin, Huile de Térébenthine, Huile de Térébenthine Purifiée, Pinus australis, Pinus palustris, Pinus pinaster, Purified Turpentine Oil, Spirits of Turpentine, Térébenthine, Terebinthinae Aetheroleum, Turpentine.
What is Turpentine Oil?
Turpentine oil is made from the resin of certain pine trees. It is used as medicine.
Don't confuse turpentine oil with gum turpentine, which is the resin.
Turpentine oil is applied to the skin for joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, and toothaches.
People sometimes breathe in (inhale) the vapors of turpentine oil to reduce the chest congestion that goes along with some lung diseases.
In foods and beverages, distilled turpentine oil is used as a flavoring.
In manufacturing, turpentine oil is used in soap and cosmetics and also as a paint solvent.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
Toothaches, when applied to the skin.
Joint, muscle and nerve pain, when applied to the skin.
Lung problems, when breathed in (inhaled).
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of turpentine oil for these uses.
How does Turpentine Oil work?
Turpentine oil, when inhaled, may help reduce congestion. When used on the skin, turpentine oil may cause warmth and redness that can help relieve pain in the tissue underneath.
Are there safety concerns?
Turpentine oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when adults use it on their skin or inhale it appropriately. When used on the skin, it can cause skin irritation. When inhaled, turpentine oil can cause spasms of the airways, particularly in people with asthma and whooping cough.
Turpentine oil is UNSAFE when taken by mouth or used over a large area of skin. Turpentine oil, when taken by mouth, can cause serious side effects including headache, sleeplessness, coughing, bleeding in the lungs, vomiting, kidney damage, brain damage, coma, and death.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Children: Do not let children take turpentine oil by mouth. It is UNSAFE. Children are particularly sensitive to the chemicals in turpentine oil, and they can die after swallowing it. There isn't enough information to know whether turpentine oil can be safely inhaled by children or put on their skin. It's best to avoid any use of turpentine oil in children.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is UNSAFE to take turpentine oil by mouth. It might cause a miscarriage. Not enough is known about the safety of putting it on the skin or inhaling it if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Lung problems, including asthma or whooping cough: Don't inhale turpentine oil if you have a lung problem. It might make your condition worse.
Dosing considerations for Turpentine Oil.
The appropriate dose of turpentine oil depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for turpentine oil. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using