Abietic acid

  • Sylvic
  • Abieta -7 ,14-diene -19 -carboxylic acid
  • (1R,4aR,4bR,10aR)-1,4a-dimethyl-7-propan-2-yl-2,3,4,4b,5,6,10,10a-octahydrophenanthren-1-carbonsäure (IUPAC)

Colorless to yellowish monoclinic plates with a characteristic odor


172-175 ° C

250 ° C.

  • Soluble in ethanol and diethyl ether
  • Practically insoluble in water


Template: Infobox chemical / molecular formula search available

Abietic acid (from Latin = fir abies ) is a resin acid, that is part of the tree resin. Abietic acid belongs to the group of tricyclic diterpene carboxylic acids. The optically active compound is the main component of the rosin. Derivatives of abietic acid are the basic substance of amber. The esters and salts of abietic hot abietates.


When heated pine resins in closed boilers above 100 ° C, so distilled water and turpentine over, while remaining in the boiler melt on cooling to a glassy mass - called rosin - solidifies, whose main component ( up to 90 percent on average but only by 43 percent) is the abietic acid including various isomers ( neoabietic, levopimaric and others).


Abietic acid is converted (as molten rosin ) with maleic anhydride and then esterified with polyalcohols. The resulting polyester resin are used in printing ink resins.

Abietic acid is used as an additive in the lactic acid and butyric acid fermentation ( biotechnological preparation of these acids).