Pine tar

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Jar of pine tar


A viscous brown to black liquid with a turpentine-like odor. Pine tar is obtained by the destructive distillation of pine wood, such as Pinus palustris. It contains phenols, turpentine, Rosin, Toluene, Xylene, and other hydrocarbons. It is used in paints, roofing compositions, soaps and as an antiseptic. Historically, it was used to weatherproof ropes on ships. Also in baseball, pine are is often applied to bat handles to improve the batter's' grip.

Synonyms and Related Terms

goudron de pin (Fr.); alquitrán de pino (Esp.); wood tar; pine pitch; navy pitch; ship pitch; pine tar oil


  • Combustible.

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Soluble in ethanol, acetone, oils and sodium hydroxide solutions.
  • Slightly soluble in water.
  • Density = 1.03-1.07 g/ml
  • Boiling Point = 240-400 C

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 801
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998