Pine oil

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Pine oil[1]

Pine (Pinus sylvestris) essential oil in a clear glass vial
Other names
Essential oil of pine
  • none
ECHA InfoCard 100.219.894 Edit this at Wikidata
Appearance Colorless to pale yellow liquid
Density 0.875 g/cm3 at 25 °C (approximate)
Melting point 5 °C (41 °F; 278 K)
Boiling point 195 °C (383 °F; 468 K)
log P 1.7
Vapor pressure 4 mmHg
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
NFPA 704 four-colored diamondHealth 2: Intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury. E.g. chloroformFlammability 2: Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperature before ignition can occur. Flash point between 38 and 93 °C (100 and 200 °F). E.g. diesel fuelInstability 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g. liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no code
Flash point 65 °C (149 °F; 338 K)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Pine oil is an essential oil obtained from a variety of species of pine, particularly Pinus sylvestris. Typically, parts of the trees that are not used for lumber - stumps, etc. - are ground and subjected to steam distillation.[2] As of 1995, synthetic pine oil was the "biggest single turpentine derivative."[3] Synthetic pine oils accounted for 90% of sales as of 2000.[4]


Pine oil is a higher boiling fraction from turpentine. Both synthetic and natural pine oil consists mainly of α-terpineol, a C10 alcohol (b.p. 214–217 °C).[5][1] The detailed composition of natural pine oil depends on many factors, such as the species of the host plant.[6] Synthetic pine oil is obtained by treating pinene with water in the presence of a catalytic amount of sulfuric acid. This treatment results in hydration of the alkene and rearrangement of the pinene skeleton, yielding terpineols.[4]


Industrially, pine oil was once used in froth flotation for the separation of mineral from ores.[1] For example, in copper extraction, pine oil is used to condition copper sulfide ores for froth flotation.

It is also used as a lubricant in small and expensive clockwork instruments.

In alternative medicine it is used in aromatherapy and as a scent in bath oils.

Properties as a disinfectant[edit]

Pine oil is used as a cleaning product, disinfectant, sanitizer, microbicide (or microbistat), virucide or insecticide.[5] It is an effective herbicide where its action is to modify the waxy cuticle of plants, resulting in desiccation.[7] Pine oil is a disinfectant that is mildly antiseptic.[8] It is effective against Brevibacterium ammoniagenes, the fungi Candida albicans, Enterobacter aerogenes, Escherichia coli, Gram-negative enteric bacteria, household germs, Gram-negative household germs such as those causing salmonellosis, herpes simplex types 1 and 2, influenza type A, influenza virus type A/Brazil, influenza virus type A2/Japan, intestinal bacteria, Klebsiella pneumoniae, odor-causing bacteria, mold, mildew, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella choleraesuis, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella typhosa, Serratia marcescens, Shigella sonnei, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus faecalis, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes.[5]


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.[8][9] Large doses may cause central nervous system depression.[1]

See also[edit]

  • List of cleaning products
  • Pine-Sol, cleaning product that originally contained pine oil, though it switched to a different active ingredient in 2013 due to the declining availability of pine oil


  1. ^ a b c d Merck Index, 11th Edition, 7416. p. 1182
  2. ^ Boyle, Hal (September 12, 1954). "There's Gold in those Pine Stumps". Sarasota Journal. p. 11.
  3. ^ Chapter 1. Production trade and markets. 1995. ISBN 978-9251036846. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  4. ^ a b Gscheidmeier, Manfred; Fleig, Helmut. "Turpentines, 16. Pine Oil". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a27_267.
  5. ^ a b c "Reregistration Decision – Pine oil (case 3113)" (PDF). Environmental Protection Agency. October 2006.
  6. ^ Macchioni, F.; Cioni, P. L.; Flamini, G.; Morelli, I.; Maccioni, S.; Ansaldi, M. (2003-03-01). "Chemical Composition of Essential Oils from Needles, Branches and Cones of Pinus pinea, P. halepensis, P. pinaster and P. nigra from Central ltaly". Flavour and Fragrance Journal. 18 (2): 139–143. doi:10.1002/ffj.1178. ISSN 1099-1026.
  7. ^ Coleby-Williams, Jerry (April 9, 2004). "Fact Sheet: Organic Weed Control". Gardening Australia. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Pine Oil". PDRhealth. 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-09-21.
  9. ^ "Pine Oil Poisoning". Retrieved August 28, 2016.

Further reading[edit]