The author recently described a method, developed in Malaya, for separating natural rubber into two main fractions, one containing, among other things, a hydrocarbon which was called caoutchene; the other including an oxygenated substance which constitutes about 2–5 per cent of natural rubber. The latter, which was named caoutchol, was described as a nontacky, freely soluble, highly elastic substance, for which the formula C80H130(OH)2 was suggested. Caoutchene, constituting 87–91 per cent of total rubber, and isolated only in a crude state, was described as tacky, of low tensile strength, and giving solutions of notably low viscosity, and its elongation under tension was stated not to exceed 200 per cent. It was further suggested that the elasticity of rubber was derived essentially from its minor component, caoutchol. The author has now been able to examine again the substance, in collaboration with his colleagues on the staff of the British Rubber Producers' Research Association. Fresh facts have been brought to light, both here and elsewhere, in consequence of which it has been found necessary to amend or withdraw the suggestions originally put forward. Nevertheless it is emphasized that caoutchol is a naturally occurring substance of real interest, quite distinct from artificially oxidized rubbers.

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