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Pine oil, essential oil consisting of a colorless to light amber liquid of characteristic odor
obtained from pine trees, or a synthetic oil similar in aroma and other properties. Pine oil is used
as a solvent for gums, resins, and other substances. It has germicidal properties and is employed
medically as a principal constituent of general disinfectants. It is also used in odorants,
insecticides, detergents, wetting and emulsifying agents, wax preparations, and antifoaming
agents and in textile scouring and the flotation process for refining lead and zinc ores.

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Pitch-soaked wood of the pine tree, principally Pinus palustris but also certain other species of
the family Pinaceae, is subjected to steam distillation. solvent extraction followed by steam
distillation, or destructive distillation to obtain the pine oil, which boils at 200°–220° C (390°–
430° F).

A variety of similar pine oils are obtained by distillation of cones and needles of various species
of pines or by extraction from the stumps using solvents and steam. Synthetic pine oil is
produced by conversion of terpene hydrocarbons into terpene alcohols.

Chemically, pine oils consist principally of cyclic terpene alcohols and are used in the
manufacture of chemicals. Pine oil is insoluble in water but dissolves in alcohol and other
organic solvents.

Distillation, process involving the conversion of a liquid into vapor that is subsequently
condensed back to liquid form. It is exemplified at its simplest when steam from a kettle
becomes deposited as drops of distilled water on a cold surface. Distillation is used to separate
liquids from nonvolatile solids, as in the separation of alcoholic liquors from fermented
materials, or in the separation of two or more liquids having different boiling points, as in the
separation of gasoline, kerosene, and lubricating oil from crude oil. Other industrial applications
include the processing of such chemical products as formaldehyde and phenol and the
desalination of seawater. The distillation process appears to have been utilized by the earliest

•Most methods of distillation used by industry and in laboratory research are variations of
simple distillation. This basic operation requires the use of a still or retort in which a
liquid is heated, a condenser to cool the vapour, and a receiver to collect the distillate. In
heating a mixture of substances, the most volatile or the lowest boiling distills first, and
the others subsequently or not at all. This simple apparatus is entirely satisfactory for the
purification of a liquid containing nonvolatile material and is reasonably adequate for
separating liquids of widely divergent boiling points. For laboratory use, the apparatus is
commonly made of glass and connected with corks, rubber bungs, or ground-glass joints.
For industrial applications, larger equipment of metal or ceramic is employed.

•A method called fractional distillation, or differential distillation, has been developed for
certain applications, such as petroleum refining, because simple distillation is not
efficient for separating liquids whose boiling points lie close to one another. In this
operation the vapours from a distillation are repeatedly condensed and revaporized in an
insulated vertical column. Especially important in this connection are the still heads,
fractionating columns, and condensers that permit the return of some of the condensed
vapour toward the still. The objective is to achieve the closest possible contact between
rising vapour and descending liquid so as to allow only the most volatile material to
proceed in the form of vapour to the receiver while returning the less volatile material as
liquid toward the still. The purification of the more volatile component by contact
between such countercurrent streams of vapour and liquid is referred to as rectification,
or enrichment.

•Multiple-effect distillation, often called multistage-flash evaporation, is another
elaboration of simple distillation. This operation, used primarily by large commercial
desalting plants, does not require heating to convert a liquid into vapour. The liquid is
simply passed from a container under high atmospheric pressure to one under lower
pressure. The reduced pressure causes the liquid to vaporize rapidly; the resulting vapour
is then condensed into distillate.

•A variation of the reduced-pressure process uses a vacuum pump to produce a very high
vacuum. This method, called vaccum ditillation, is sometimes employed when dealing
with substances that normally boil at inconveniently high temperatures or that decompose
when boiling under atmospheric pressure.Steam distillation is an alternative method of
achieving distillation at temperatures lower than the normal boiling point. It is applicable
when the material to be distilled is immiscible (incapable of mixing) and chemically
nonreactive with water. Examples of such materials include fatty acids and soybean oils.
The usual procedure is to pass steam into the liquid in the still to supply heat and cause
evaporation of the liquid.

•Terpene, any of a class of hydrocarbons occurring widely in plants and animals and
empirically regarded as built up from isoprene, a hydrocarbon consisting of five carbon
atoms attached to eight hydrogen atoms (C5H8). The term is often extended to the
terpenoids, which are oxygenated derivatives of these hydrocarbons.

•Biological formation of the terpenes occurs by the combination of two molecules of
acetic acid to give mevalonic acid (C6H12O4) and conversion of the latter to isopentenyl
pyrophosphate, which contains the five-carbon isoprene skeleton. Further transformations
of the isopentenyl compound yield the true terpenes and the terpenoids.

•The true terpenes are usually grouped according to the number of isoprene (C5H8) units in
the molecule: monoterpenes (C10H16) contain two such units; sesquiterpenes (C15H24),
three; diterpenes (C20H32), four; triterpenes (C30H48), six; and tetraterpenes (C40H64),
eight. Rubber and gutta-percha are polyterpenes in which 1,000–5,000 isoprene units are
joined in a long chain. Monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and diterpenes are abundant in the
essential oils of plants: turpentine contains several monoterpenes, and the rosin acids are
diterpenes. Vitamin A is another important diterpene. The trriterpene squalene,
obtainable from shark-liver oil, may be converted to cholesterol and many other steroids.
The carotenoid pigments are the best known tetraterpenes.


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