Synthesis of Limonene

Overview

Limonene is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon. It is found in numerous plant oils, including lemon oil and orange oil. Limonene is one of several low-molecular weight olefins that help form the characteristic odors of fruits and flowers.

In this experiment, you will attempt to prepare limonene in a two-step procedure beginning with two cheap starting materials: methyl vinyl ketone and isoprene. The final product mixture will be analyzed by GC-MS, a technique that combines gas chromatography with mass spectrometry.