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Skeletal formula
Ball-and-stick model
IUPAC name
Systematic IUPAC name
Other names
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.001.336
EC Number 201-469-6
RTECS number AB1000000
UN number 3077
Molar mass 154.21 g·mol−1
Appearance White or pale yellow crystalline powder
Density 1.024 g/cm3
Melting point 93.4 °C (200.1 °F; 366.5 K)
Boiling point 279 °C (534 °F; 552 K)
0.4 mg/100 ml
Solubility in ethanol slight
Solubility in chloroform slight
Solubility in benzene very soluble
Solubility in acetic acid soluble
-.709·10−6 cm3/g
Safety data sheet ICSC 1674
NFPA 704
Flammability code 1: Must be pre-heated before ignition can occur. Flash point over 93 °C (200 °F). E.g., canola oil Health code 2: Intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury. E.g., chloroform Reactivity code 1: Normally stable, but can become unstable at elevated temperatures and pressures. E.g., calcium Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point 135 °C (275 °F; 408 K)
> 450 °C (842 °F; 723 K)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Acenaphthene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) consisting of naphthalene with an ethylene bridge connecting positions 1 and 8. It is a colourless solid. Coal tar consists of about 0.3% of this compound.[1]

Production and reactions[edit]

Acenaphthene was prepared the first time from coal tar by Marcellin Berthelot. Later Berthelot and Bardy synthesized the compound by cyclization of α-ethylnaphthalene. Industrially, it is still obtained from coal tar together with its derivative acenaphthylene (and many other compounds).

Like other arenes, acenaphthene forms complexes with low valent metal centers. One example is (η6-acenaphthene)Mn(CO)3]+.[2] Chemical reduction affords the radical anion sodium acenaphthylenide, which is used as a strong reductant (E = -1.75 V vs NHE).[3]


It is used on a large scale to prepare naphthalene dicarboxylic anhydride, which is a precursor to dyes and optical brighteners.[1] Naphthalene dicarboxylic anhydride is the precursor to perylenetetracarboxylic dianhydride, precursor to several commercial pigments and dyes.[4][5]



  1. ^ a b Karl Griesbaum, Arno Behr, Dieter Biedenkapp, Heinz-Werner Voges, Dorothea Garbe, Christian Paetz, Gerd Collin, Dieter Mayer, Hartmut Höke “Hydrocarbons” in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2002 Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a13_227
  2. ^ S. B. Kim, S. Lotz, S. Sun, Y. K. Chung, R. D. Pike, D. A. Sweigart "Manganese Tricarbonyl Transfer (MTT) Agents" Inorganic Syntheses, 2010, Vol. 35, 109–128, . doi:10.1002/9780470651568.ch6
  3. ^ N. G. Connelly and W. E. Geiger, "Chemical Redox Agents for Organometallic Chemistry", Chem. Rev. 1996, 96, 877-910. doi:10.1021/cr940053x
  4. ^ K. Hunger. W. Herbst "Pigments, Organic" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2012. doi:10.1002/14356007.a20_371
  5. ^ Greene, M. "Perylene Pigments" in High Performance Pigments, 2009, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. pp. 261-274.doi:10.1002/9783527626915.ch16