Abietic acid

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Yellowish, semi-crystalline powder. Abietic acid is the primary resin acid component of the solid portion (Rosin) of resinous exudations obtained from coniferous trees after the volatiles (turpentine) are removed. Esters of abietic acid, such as methyl abietate, are used in lacquers and varnishes. Resinates of heavy metals, such as lead abietate, are used as driers in oil paints and varnishes. Copper resinate, formed from mixing a copper salt with rosin, is used as a transparent green pigment.

Chemical structure

Abietic acid.jpg

Synonyms and Related Terms

abietinic acid; sylvic acid; 13-isopropylpodocapra-7-13-dien-15-oicacid


Combustible. Known contact allergen.

Cayman Chemicals: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Soluble in ethanol, acetone, ether, chloroform and benzene.
  • Insoluble in water.
  • HLB=8.2
  • cmc=2
  • pKa1=6.7
Composition C19H29COOH
CAS 514-10-3
Melting Point 172-175 C
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 302.45
Refractive Index optical rotation = -106

Resources and Citations

  • Richard C. Wolbers, Nanette T. Sterman, Chris Stavroudis, Notes for Workshop on New Methods in the Cleaning of Paintings, J.Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 1990
  • The Merck Index, Susan Budavari (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 12th Edition, 1996 Comment: entry 1
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 615
  • Teri Hensick, contributed information, 1998

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