Determination of Terpenoid Content in Pine by Organic Solvent Extraction and Fast-GC Analysis

Robert Sykes, Mark Davis, Anne Ware, Gary Peter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus Citations


Terpenoids, naturally occurring compounds derived from isoprene units present in pine oleoresin, are a valuable source of chemicals used in solvents, fragrances, flavors, and have shown potential use as a biofuel. This paper describes a method to extract and analyze the terpenoids present in loblolly pine saplings and pine lighter wood. Various extraction solvents were tested over different times and temperatures. Samples were analyzed by pyrolysis-molecular beam mass spectrometry before and after extractions to monitor the extraction efficiency. The pyrolysis studies indicated that the optimal extraction method used a 1:1 hexane/acetone solvent system at 22°C for 1 h. Extracts from the hexane/acetone experiments were analyzed using a low thermal mass modular accelerated column heater for fast-GC/FID analysis. The most abundant terpenoids from the pine samples were quantified, using standard curves, and included the monoterpenes, α- and β-pinene, camphene, and δ-carene. Sesquiterpenes analyzed included caryophyllene, humulene, and α-bisabolene. Diterpenoid resin acids were quantified in derivatized extractions, including pimaric, isopimaric, levopimaric, palustric, dehydroabietic, abietic, and neoabietic acids.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Energy Research
Issue numberJAN
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Harman-Ware, Sykes, Peter and Davis.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-64186


  • Biofuels
  • Biomaterials
  • Bioproducts
  • Cell wall chemistry
  • Fast-GC
  • Pyrolysis-molecular beam mass spectrometry
  • Renewable materials


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