The question of the chemical structure of amber
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1. The identity of the IR spectra of the main types of amber (transparent, semitransparent, opaque and bone ambers) in the 700–2000 cm−1 region has been confirmed. At the same time, differences between them have been shown by elemental analysis.
2. In order to isolate the fraction of amber soluble in alcohol, extraction with boiling alcohol instead of by prolonged extraction at room temperature has been proposed.
3. The amber fraction soluble in alcohol and petroleum ether can be separated into acid and ester (lactone) fractions by successive treatment of its ethereal solution with 1% and 15% aqueous alkalis.
4. The acid fraction isolated from the alcohol-soluble and the petroleum ether-insoluble fractions of amber have similar IR spectra but differ in elemental composition.
5. Succinin contains lactone (or ester) groupings whose hydrolysis forms hydroxyacids.
KeywordsPetroleum Ether Lactone Succinic Acid Strong Absorption Band Resin Acid
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