A white crystalline hydrocarbon, polymeric with benzene. It is extracted from pine tar, and is also found in certain fossil resins.
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Retene, methyl isopropyl phenanthrene or 1-methyl-7-isopropyl phenanthrene, C18H18, is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon present in the coal tar fraction, boiling above 360 °C. It occurs naturally in the tars obtained by the distillation of resinous woods. It crystallizes in large plates, which melt at 98.5 °C and boil at 390 °C. It is readily soluble in warm ether and in hot glacial acetic acid. Sodium and boiling amyl alcohol reduce it to a tetrahydroretene, but if it heated with phosphorus and hydriodic acid to 260 °C, a dodecahydride is formed. Chromic acid oxidizes it to retene quinone, phthalic acid and acetic acid. It forms a picrate that melts at 123-124 °C.
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