TURPENTINE AND ITS PRODUCTSby@scientificamerican

TURPENTINE AND ITS PRODUCTS

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In treating this subject it is necessary to limit it within comparatively narrow bounds, for bodies of the turpentine class are exceedingly numerous and not well understood. In this definite class turpentine means the exudation from various trees of the natural order Coniferæ, consisting of a hydrocarbon, C10H16, and a resin. The constitution of the hydrocarbons in turpentine from different sources, though identical chemically, varies physically, the boiling point ranging from 156° C. to 163° C., the density from 0.855 to 0.880, and the action on polarized light from -40.3 to +21.5. They are very unstable bodies in their molecular constitution, heat, sulphuric acid, and other reagents modifying their properties. The resins are also very variable bodies formed probably by oxidation of the hydrocarbons, and as this oxidation is more or less complete, mixtures are formed very difficult to separate and study. Turpentine as met with in commerce is mainly derived from Pinus maritima, yielding French turpentine, and Pinus australis, furnishing most of the American turpentine. The latter is obtained from North and South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. In Hanbury and Fluckiger's Pharmacographia there is a full description of the manner in which the trees are wounded to obtain the turpentine. Besides these there are Venice turpentine from the larch, Pinus Larix, Strassburg turpentine from Abies pectinata, and Canada balsam from Pinus balsamea.
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