Alpha Pinene Overview

What is Alpha(α) Pinene

Alpha(α)-pinene, also known as ex-turpentine,  is one of the organic compound from terpene class. This compound is an alkene and it has a reactive four-membered ring. In nature, alpha pinene can be found in the oils of coniferous trees such as pine tree. Besides coniferous trees, it also can be found in essential oil of rosemary. This compound is clear and colorless with a characteristic odor of pine. They are used as the starting material for the synthesis of terpene resins, lubricants, campaign, etc.

Manufacturing Process

Turpentine is a volatile oil, which also the raw material of both beta- and alpha-pinene. Turpentine is extracted from pine wood after being cooked in the kraft paper-making process. Turpentine is separated from mixture of water and turpentine and then distilled into volatile compounds without commercial value, 58-65% alpha-pinene, and 30% beta-pinene.

Both isomers of pinene (alpha and beta) are made from the same starting materials. Firstly, geranyl pyrophosphate is converted to linaloyl pyrophosphate. After which, linaloyl pyrophosphate undergoes a cyclization event to form a six-membered ring. This intermediate reacts rapidly with itself to form an intramolecular four-membered ring. Upon forming both rings, there will be a loss of a hydrogen ion and depending on the location of the hydrogen ion, it can either give us beta or alpha pinene.

The Uses of Alpha(α) Pinene

Alpha(α)-Pinene is an organic compound of the terpene class, one of two isomers of pinene. It is an alkene and it contains a reactive four-membered ring. It is found in the oils of many species of many coniferous trees, notably the pine. Both enantiomers are known in nature; 1S,5S- or (−)-α-pinene is commoner in European pines, whereas the 1R,5R- or (+)-α-isomer is commoner in North America. The racemic mixture is present in some oils such as eucalyptus oil.

Food Industry

It is used as a food additives and acts as a flavoring agent. Alpha pinene gives pine-like taste and odor. It is used to daily flavor of bergamot, bay leave and other edible flavor. Acting as a flavor ingredient for oral care, it is frequently employed in the preparation of perfumes and cosmetics.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Alpha pinene is used as a bronchodilator for human and also have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and is used in the treatment of skin diseases such as eczema and other skin ailments. It is a main component of many essential oils which are used to prepare mouthwashes, cold and chest ointments, etc.

Intermediate Chemicals

Alpha pinene is used as the starting material for the synthesis of terpene resin, synthetic plastics, synthetic lubricant and in aromatic chemicals such as camphene, etc. These derivatives obtained are used for the preparation of fragrances, food additive for flavoring, lubricants, adhesives etc.


They are strong disinfectant, sanitizers and deodorizers. Their fresh pine fragrance kills odor producing fungi and bacteria and neutralizes unpleasant odor. Alpha pinene disinfectant is ideal to refresh washrooms areas, toilets, rubbish bins, sports equipment as they contain a synergistic blend of biocides. 

Product Identification
CAS NO.: 80-56-8
MOL WT.: 136.24
H.S. CODE: 29021900
SYNONYMS: -2-Pinene; -alpha-Pinene
Physical and Chemical Properties
MELTING POINT: −64˚ C (209 K)
BOILING POINT: 155˚ C (428 K
SPECIFIC GRAVITY: 0.858 g/mL, liquid at 20˚ C
Sales Specifications
APPERANCE: Colorless to pale yellow liquid
ODOR: Woody
Refractive Index, @ n20/D: 1.464-1.474
Relative Density, @ d20/4: 0.855-0.870
Acid Value, mgKOH/g: ≤ 0.5