- 166.2 g/mol
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
Compound properties list
| 114 °C
|Sinks in water
|0.003 mm Hg
|Very low volatility
|Solubility in water
|Very 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 - 6.0*
|Strong adsorption to organic matter
At 20 0C, fluorene is a solid with very low volatility. Characterized by its low
solubility, it will moderately volatilize once dissolved and adsorbs strongly to organic matter.
When present in soil, this compound will undergo light volatilization 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 fluorene can also be carried into a
water course where they will deposit at the bottom and slowly dissolve. Once the source has
disappeared, the adsorbed fluorene will take a long time to disappear, being released in its gaseous
or dissolved forms. The resulting plumes (gaseous or dissolved) will be relatively small in size.
Fluorene should be handled with care, as it is toxic.
Fluorene 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.
Fluorene can be obtained by fractional distillation of coal tar or by passing vapors of diphenyl
methane through a red-hot tube. Fluorene is used as a chemical intermediate in many chemical
processes, in the formation of polyradicals for resins, in the manufacture of dyestuffs, and in
chemical, biochemical or cancer research. Fluorene is more 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 by steel
production. Bitumen and asphalt are used for paving roads, for sound- and water-proofing, and
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995. Toxicological
Profile for 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)