Chemical Composition

Gildemeister and Hoffmann (1925) and subsequently Hiraizumi (1950) made compilations on the chemical composition of camphor oils. The following chemicals have been listed by the latter worker.


Formic acid, acetic acid, propionic acid, isobutyric acid, isovaleric acid, n-caproic acid, n-caprylic acid, n-enanthic acid, dl-citronellic acid, lauric acid, myristic acid, piper-onytic acid.


Acetaldehyde, propionaldehyde, isovaleraldehyde, n-hexaldehyde, furfural, a-methyl furfural, a,ß-hexanal, pentenylaldehyde, stearic aldehyde, decyclaldehyde, pentadecy-laldehyde, myristic aldehyde, piperonylacrolein.

Ketones and oxides:

Camphor, piperitone, cineole, 1,4-cineole, safrole, linalool monoxide.


l-Linalool, geraniol, citronellol, d-citronellol, d-borneol, cuminyl alcohol, dihydro-cuminyl alcohol, a-terpineol, dl-a-terpineol, l-a-terpineol, terpinen-1-ol, terpinen-4-ol.

Phenols and phenol ethers:

Cresol, ethyl phenol, ethyl guaicol methylethyl phenol, carvacrol, eugenol, methyl-eugenol, dihydroeugenol, propylpyrocatechol, elemicin, laurol, microl.


a-Pinene, ^-pinene, camphene, l-camphene, fenchene, phellandrene, dipentene, l-limonene, p-cymene, d-sabinene, a-terpinene, y-terpinene, l-a-thujene.


Bisabolene, cadinene, caryophyllene, camphazulone.


a-Camphorene, ^-camphorene, ho-sho-diterpene.

Hirota (1956) and Hirota and Horoi (1967) have given the comparative figures of the composition of unrectified camphor oils found in Table 9.6.

Wan-Yang etal. (1989) conducted a detailed study of the chemical composition of camphor trees growing in China (Tables 9.7, 9.8). They have analysed 363 essential oil samples using GC and GC-MS and identified 34 chemical compounds. Depending upon the predominance of particular chemical compounds they recognised five chemo-types: camphor-type, linalool-type, cineole type, isonerolidol type and borneol type (Table 9.9).

Van Khein et al. (1998) studied the chemical segregation of progenies of camphor trees with high camphor and linalool contents. The leaf oil contents were analysed by

Table 9.6 Composition of unrectified camphor oils (%)






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