Turpentine oil is obtained by distillation of pine resin. It is mainly composed of alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, with small quantities of carene, camphene, dipentene and terpinolene. Turpentine oil is a colorless, oily, solvent with a strong odour. In earlier times, turpentine oil was sourced from a Mediterranean tree called Terebinth, which is related to the pistachios family. Nowadays, turpentine is obtained from Maritime pine, Sumatran pine, Aleppo pine, Longleaf pine, Masson’s pine, Ponderosa pine and Loblolly pine.
To remove the pine arks, turpentiners used various tricks to tap into the layered sap. On debarking, oleoresin is secreted by the pine tree so as to protect from insects, microbes and to prevent sap loss. This oleoresin is collected and processed as the spirit of turpentine by the turpentine oil suppliers. On subjection to steam distillation, oleoresin gives rise to top product turpentine which is taken from the condenser, and bottom product molten rosin.
Different Uses of Turpentine Oil
- One of the largest uses of turpentine oil is in manufacturing insecticides, resins, oil additives, camphor.
- As solvents: Used in thinning-based paints and in making varnishes. It is often mixed with beeswax to produce a compound that is added as a protective layer on the furniture.
- Manufacturing organic compounds: Turpentine oil is used in producing fragrant organic compounds like camphor, linalool, etc.
- Healing properties: Turpentine oil has been used since old times as home remedies. It is used in treating wounds, removing lice, for colds, etc.
- Other Uses :
- Turpentine oil is added to sanitary products for its antiseptic properties.
- Turpentine oil was used in ancient times to light oil lamps for its strong fragrance.
- Turpentine oil was used in preparing Gin during the 18th century.
- Turpentine oil is applied on the skin, for joint pains, muscle pain, and toothaches.
- Turpentine oil is used as a rubber solvent in the manufacture of plastics.