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Terpenes. By John Amba & John Sebua. Terpenes. - are a class of molecules that typically contain either ten or fifteen carbon atoms built from a five carbon building block called isoprenes . Isoprene (C 5 H 8 ).

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terpenes

Terpenes

By John Amba & John Sebua

terpenes1
Terpenes

- are a class of molecules that typically contain either ten or fifteen carbon atoms built from a five carbon building block called isoprenes.

isoprene c 5 h 8
Isoprene (C5H8)

- the basic molecular formula of terpenes are multiples of isoprenes (C5H8)n , where n is the number of linked isoprene units. This is called the isoprene rule or the C5 rule.

- the isoprene units may be linked together “head to tail” to form linear chains or they may be arranged to form rings.

types of terpenes
Types of terpenes
  • Hemiterpenes –single isoprene unit
  • Monoterpenes –two isoprene units
  • Sesquiterpenes –three isoprene units (C15H24)
  • Diterpenes –four isoprene units(C20H32)
  • Sesterpenes –five isoprene units (C25H40)
  • Triterpenes –six isoprene units (C30H48)
  • Tetraterpenes –eight isoprene units (C40H64)
  • Polyterpenes –long chains of many isoprene unit
sources and uses of terpenes
Sources and uses of Terpenes
  • Terpenes are large and varied class of hydrocarbons produced primarily by a wide variety of plants particularly conifers, though also by some insects such as termites or swallow tail butter flies.
  • In plants, terpenes are typically found as a component of the essential oils.
  • A use of terpene maybe found in coating such as varnish
  • B-carotene is a tetraterpene with eight isoprene units
  • More complex terpenes include vitamin A, caroteroid pigments, and rubber.
  • Terpenes are used in organic synthesis.