Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Flammable Orange Peel
Name: Tammy F.
Status: educator
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Thursday, August 22, 2002

Why exactly is the oil from an orange peel flammable? What is the composition of this orange oil?


The oil contains a mixture of things like limonene, citral, and oily terpenes. All are flammable organic compounds.

ProfHoff 458

The oil in orange peel is actually a rather complex mixture of volatile organic compounds, that is why it is flammable. A typical composition consists of: about 90% d-limonene plus varying amounts of the compounds citral, decyl aldehyde, methyl anthranilate, linalool, and terpineol. I found these in the Merck Index. You can follow up to see if the newest edition gives more details.

Vince Calder

Click here to return to the Chemistry Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory