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A colorless solvent with a lemon-like odor that is occurs naturally from the oils of lemon, orange, caraway, dill, and bergamot. Limonene is used as a wetting and dispersing agent in liquid soaps, inks, perfumes, paints, varnishes, floor waxes, and furniture polishes. It is also used as a solvent for alkyd resins, Rosin, waxes, and Rubber compounds.

Chemical structure


Synonyms and Related Terms

cinene; D-limonene; cajeputene; kautschin; dipentene (isomer mixture); Diene; carvene; 4-Isopropenyl-1-methylcyclohexene


  • Skin contact will cause irritation.
  • Flammable. Flash point = 48C
  • ThermoFisher: SDS
  • Most references consider limonene a green solvent because it is obtained often from food industry waste and biodegradable

Physical and Chemical Properties

Miscible with ethanol. Insoluble in water.

Composition C10H16
CAS 5989-27-5
Melting Point -75 C
Density 0.8402 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 136.23
Refractive Index 1.471
Boiling Point 175.5-176.5 C

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 5518
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index=1.471