- 154.2 g/mol
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
Compound properties list
|Melting/boiling point|| 93 °C||Solid|
|Relative density||1.18 g/cm3||Sinks in water|
|Vapour pressure||0.002 mm Hg||Very low volatility|
|Solubility in water||4 mg/L||Low solubility|
|Henry's law constant||1 x 10-4 atm·m3/mol||Moderate volatilization when dissolved|
|log Koc (Depending on soil or sediment characteristics)||3.5 - 5.8*||Strong adsorption to organic matter|
At 20 0C, acenaphthene is a solid with very low volatility. Characterized by low
solubility, it will volatilize moderately once dissolved and adsorbs strongly to organic matter.
When present in soil, this compound will undergo light volatilize and solubilize slowly. Once
dissolved, it will either enter into the groundwater table or migrate towards a waterway, where it
will be diluted before partially volatilizing. Fragments of acenaphthene can also be carried into a
waterway and deposited at the bottom where they will dissolve slowly. Once the source has been
removed, the adsorbed acenaphthene will take a very long time to disappear, liberating contamination
in either the gaseous or dissolved state. The resulting plumes (gaseous or dissolved) will be
relatively small in size.
Acenaphthene should be handled with care as it is toxic.
Acenaphthene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH). PAHs are a group of organic
compounds that contain two or more benzene rings in their structure. There are more than 100
different PAHs that generally occur as complex mixtures (example, combustion by-products such as soot).
Incomplete combustion of fuels in engines, during coal coking, or when wood is burning (forest
fires, wood stoves) produces PAHs. PAHs are also constituents of petroleum and coal, and they are
more present in some of their derivatives like tars and asphalt. The wood preservative industry
(example, creosote), aluminum smelters using Soderberg electrodes, and hazardous waste disposal sites
are further contributors of anthropogenic PAHs to the environment.
Acenaphthene may be obtained from coal tar and petroleum refining, or by passing ethylene and
benzene or naphthalene through a red-hot tube. Acenaphthene has been used as an intermediate in the
production of dyes, pharmaceuticals, photographic chemicals, insecticides, fungicides, plastics and
plant growth hormones, and in chemical, biochemical, or cancer research. Acenaphthene is also likely
to be found mixed with other PAHs in commercial products like coal tar, coal tar pitch, creosote,
bitumen and asphalt. Coal tar is used as a fuel in the steel industry, distilled to give coal tar
pitch and creosote, and has been used in the clinical treatment of skin disorders such as eczema and
dermatitis. Coal tar pitch is used primarily as a binder for aluminum smelting electrodes, but is
also used in roofing, surface coatings, and a variety of other applications. Creosote is used to
preserve wood for railroad ties, marine pilings and telephone poles. Some creosote products are also
used as a fuel in steel production. Bitumen and asphalt are used for paving roads, for sound- and
water-proofing, and coating pipes.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, Public Health Service, Georgia, USA. (Viewed December 2013)
Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. 1999. Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for
the Protection of Aquatic Life: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). In: Canadian
Environmental Quality Guidelines. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, Manitoba,
Canada. (Viewed December 2013).
Montgomery, John H. 2007. Groundwater Chemicals, Desk Reference, Fourth Edition, CRC
Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Florida, USA.
National Toxicology Program. 2005. Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition: Substance Profile of
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health
Services, USA.(PDF, 256KB) (Viewed December 2013)