From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Skeletal formula
Ball-and-stick model
IUPAC name
Other names
483-65-8 YesY
ChemSpider 9805 N
EC number 207-597-9
Jmol-3D images Image
PubChem 10222
Molar mass 234.33552
Melting point 98.5 °C (209.3 °F; 371.6 K)
Boiling point 390 °C (734 °F; 663 K)
Except where noted otherwise, data is given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 N verify (what isYesY/N?)
Infobox references

Retene, methyl isopropyl phenanthrene or 1-methyl-7-isopropyl phenanthrene, C18H18, is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon present in the coal tar fraction, boiling above 360 °C. It occurs naturally in the tars obtained by the distillation of resinous woods. It crystallizes in large plates, which melt at 98.5 °C and boil at 390 °C. It is readily soluble in warm ether and in hot glacial acetic acid. Sodium and boiling amyl alcohol reduce it to a tetrahydroretene, whilst if it be heated with phosphorus and hydriodic acid to 260 °C, a dodecahydride is formed. Chromic acid oxidizes it to retene quinone, phthalic acid and acetic acid. It forms a picrate which melts at 123-124 °C.

Retene is derived by degradation of specific diterpenoids biologically produced by conifer trees.

The presence of traces of retene in the air is an indicator of forest fires; it is a major product of pyrolysis of conifer trees.[1] It is also present in effluents from wood pulp and paper mills.[2]

Retene, together with cadalene, simonellite and ip-iHMN, is a biomarker of higher plants, which makes it useful for paleobotanic analysis of rock sediments. Ratio of retene/cadalene in sediments can reveal the ratio of the genus Pinaceae in the biosphere.[3]


  1. ^ Unsolved Mysteries of Human Health, Community Outreach and Education Program, Oregon State University
  2. ^ J. Koistinen, M. Lehtonena, K. Tukia, M. Soimasuo, M. Lahtiperab and A. Oikari (1998). "IDENTIFICATION OF LIPOPHILIC POLLUTANTS DISCHARGED FROM A FINNISH PULP AND PAPER MILL". Chemosphere 37 (2): 219–235. doi:10.1016/S0045-6535(98)00041-1. PMID 9650265. 
  3. ^ Y. Hautevelle, R. Michels, F. Malartre and A. Trouiller (2005). "Vascular plant biomarkers as ancient vegetation proxies and their stratigraphic use for tracing paleoclimatic changes during Jurassic in Western Europe" (ABSTRACT). Geophysical Research Abstracts 7: 10201. 

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.