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Turpentine, how to identify

  1. Sep 23, 2014 #1
    Hi, after boiling some pine needles in about 200mL water and using a distillation device I believe, but can't be sure, that some turpentine was collected. What might be a laboratory experiment that could verify that in fact the substance is turpentine?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Check if those using turpentine don't have a definition what classifies as a turpentine. Turpentine is not a simple compound, rather a mixture, so there is no simple experiment, I expect some set of properties that have to be meet.
  4. Sep 24, 2014 #3


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    Science Advisor

    Turpentine oil contains mostly (70 to 80%) alpha-pinene. It is relatively easy to transform it into terpineol which has a nice lilac odor.
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