Determination of Camphor by Polarimetry

Camphor has an strong scent that is similar to eucalyptus, as well as being a mild local anesthetic and having antimicrobial properties. This is the reason why it is used in various medical fields. The camphor content in drugs can be determined according to AOAC 926.18 with polarimetry.

Camphor (1,7,7-trimethylbicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-one) is achiral substance that occurs naturally in its dextrorotatory form. It is found in nature in trees of the laurel family, for example, in the wood of at least 50-year-old camphor trees (Cinnamomum camphora L.). Camphor can also be synthesized from α-Pinen. Camphor is a synthetic racemate, and so is optically inactive. This is because camphor synthesis results in equal amounts of L- and D-camphor.

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