Naphthalene is an organic compound with the chemical formula C10H8. It is the simplest polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon.



Naphthalene can react with halogens, such as chlorine to form 1-chloronaphthalene, without requiring a catalyst, unlike in the case of benzene. Likewise, whereas both benzene and naphthalene can be alkylated using Friedel–Crafts reactions, naphthalene can also be alkylated by reaction with alkenes or alcohols, with sulfuric or phosphoric acid as the catalyst.


Naphthalene is a white crystalline solid with a characteristic odor that is detectable at low concentrations. It is insoluble in water, but soluble in other organic solvents, especially closer to their boiling point.


Some mothballs, especially the older types tend to contain naphtalene, the exact concentration depending on the product. Naphthalene can be extracted via sublimation. Always check the label, as most common mothballs contain 1,4-dichlorobenzene.

Naphthalene and 1,4-dichlorobenzene are never found together, as they react.

Mothballs and other products containing naphthalene have been banned within the EU since 2008.


Naphthalene can be extracted from coal tar, via sublimation and purification.




Naphthalene is known to to be toxic to red blood cells and it's considered a possible carcinogenic.


Naphthalene should be stored in hermetic sealed bottles and kept in a cold place as it will slowly sublime and deposit on the cap interior.


Naphthalene can be safely burned.


Relevant Sciencemadness threadsEdit

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