The terpinenes are a group of isomeric hydrocarbons that are classified as monoterpenes. They each have the same molecular formula and carbon framework, but they differ in the position of carbon-carbon double bonds. α-Terpinene has been isolated from cardamom and marjoram oils, and from other natural sources. β-Terpinene has no known natural source but has been prepared from sabinene. γ-Terpinene and δ-terpinene (also known as terpinolene) have been isolated from a variety of plant sources. They are all colorless liquids with a turpentine-like odor.
3D model (JSmol)
|Molar mass||136.238 g·mol−1|
|Density||α: 0.8375 g/cm3|
β: 0.838 g/cm3
γ: 0.853 g/cm3
|Melting point||α: 60-61 °C|
|Boiling point||α: 173.5-174.8 °C|
β: 173-174 °C
γ: 183 °C
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Production and usesEdit
α-Terpinene is produced industrially by acid-catalyzed rearrangement of α-pinene. It has perfume and flavoring properties but is mainly used to confer pleasant odor to industrial fluids. Hydrogenation gives the saturated derivative p-menthane.
Biosynthesis of α-terpineneEdit
Geranyl pyrophosphate (GPP) is produced from the reaction of a resonance-stable allylic cation, formed from the loss of the pyrophosphate group from DMAPP, and isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP), and the subsequent loss of a proton. GPP then loses the pyrophosphate group to form the resonance-stable geranyl cation. The reintroduction of the pyrophosphate group to the cation produces GPP isomer, known as linalyl pyrophosphate (LPP). LPP then forms a resonance-stable cation by losing its pyrophosphate group. Cyclization is then completed thanks to this more favorable stereochemistry of the LPP cation, now yielding a terpinyl cation. Finally, a 1,2-hydride shift via a Wagner-Meerwein rearrangement produces the terpinen-4-yl cation. It is the loss of a hydrogen from this cation that generates α-terpinene.
Plants that produce terpineneEdit
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