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Pine oil

For the byproduct of wood pulp production sometimes called pine oil, see tall oil.
Pine oil[1]
Other names Essential oil of pine
CAS number 8006-88-0
Molecular formula Mixture
Appearance Colorless to pale yellow liquid
Density ~ 0.9 g/cm3
Boiling point

~ 200-220 °C

Solubility in water Insoluble
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Pine oil is an essential oil obtained by the steam distillation of needles, twigs and cones from a variety of species of pine, particularly Pinus sylvestris.

It is used in aromatherapy, as a scent in bath oils, as a cleaning product, and as a lubricant in small and expensive clockwork instruments. It is naturally deodorizing, and antibacterial. It may also be used varyingly as a disinfectant, massage oil and an antiseptic in homeopathic medicine.

Pine oil is distinguished from other products from pine such as turpentine, the low-boiling fraction from the distillation of pine sap, and rosin, the thick tar remaining after turpentine is distilled.

Chemically, pine oil consists mainly of cyclic terpene alcohols.[1] It may also contain terpene hydrocarbons, ethers, and esters. The exact composition depends on various factors such as the variety of pine it is produced from and the parts of the tree used.

Industrially, pine oil is used in metal extraction from ores.[1] For example, in copper extraction pine oil is used to soak all copper sulfide ores for froth flotation.

Properties as a disinfectant

Pine oil is a phenolic disinfectant that is mildly antiseptic.[2] Pine oil disinfectants are relatively inexpensive and widely available. They are effective against some bacterial strains and enveloped viruses, but not generally effective against non-enveloped viruses or spores.

It will kill the causative agents of typhoid, gastroenteritis (some agents), rabies, enteric fever, cholera, several forms of meningitis, whooping cough, gonorrhea and several types of dysentery.[3] It is also effective against several of the leading causes of food poisoning.[citation needed] It is not effective against spore related illneses such as tetanus or anthrax or against non-enveloped viruses such as poliovirus, rhinovirus, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.[3]

Pine oil has a relatively low human toxicity level, a low corrosion level and limited persistence; however, it irritates the skin and mucous membranes and has been known to cause breathing problems.[2] Large doses may cause central nervous system depression.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Merck Index, 11th Edition, 7416.
  2. ^ a b PDRhealth
  3. ^ a b Detailed Information On Chemical Disinfectants University of Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, accessed June 26, 2007.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pine_oil". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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