Naphthalene vs. Anthracene — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 2, 2023
Naphthalene has two fused benzene rings, used in mothballs. Anthracene has three fused benzene rings and is used in OLED production. Both are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) but differ in structure and applications.
Difference Between Naphthalene and Anthracene
Table of Contents
Naphthalene, commonly recognized for its application in mothballs, is an aromatic hydrocarbon consisting of two fused benzene rings. On the other hand, Anthracene, with three fused benzene rings, plays a pivotal role in the production of certain organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).
The molecular structure of Naphthalene results in a molecule that is relatively flat but possesses distinct electron cloud characteristics. In contrast, Anthracene, although also planar, demonstrates unique photophysical properties due to its extended conjugated system.
In terms of physical appearance, Naphthalene often appears as white crystals and is noted for its characteristic, strong odor. Anthracene, however, generally appears as yellow crystals and exhibits a blue fluorescence under ultraviolet light.
While Naphthalene is solid at room temperature and sublimates readily, providing a means to repel moths, Anthracene is explored in the realm of dyes and pigments owing to its capability to produce vivid colors.
Naphthalene's potential health impacts include skin and eye irritation upon exposure, while Anthracene is considered less toxic but may be implicated in environmental concerns, particularly when present in large quantities in ecosystems.
Two fused benzene rings
Three fused benzene rings
OLEDs, dyes, and pigments
Solid and sublimates readily
Can irritate skin and eyes
Less toxic, environmental concerns
Compare with Definitions
Naphthalene can act as a precursor to various chemical compounds.
Naphthalene is transformed into numerous derivatives that find utility in chemical syntheses.
Anthracene is a solid polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon composed of three fused benzene rings.
Anthracene is crucial in synthesizing certain dyes and pigments.
Naphthalene is a white, volatile, solid polycyclic hydrocarbon with a strong odor.
Naphthalene balls are often used to prevent moth damage to woolen clothes.
Anthracene is employed in the production of specific types of OLEDs.
The electroluminescent layer of some OLEDs utilizes anthracene due to its favorable electronic properties.
Naphthalene is renowned for its utilization in the manufacture of phthalic anhydride.
The industrial production of phthalic anhydride often involves the oxidation of naphthalene.
Anthracene exhibits blue fluorescence under ultraviolet light.
Under ultraviolet light, anthracene crystals emit a characteristic blue glow.
Naphthalene finds applications in the development of certain dyes and resins.
Dyes derived from naphthalene are utilized to color a range of fabrics.
Anthracene can be hydrogenated to produce anthraquinone, a useful chemical intermediate.
Through hydrogenation, anthracene is converted to anthraquinone, which is pivotal in dye manufacturing.
Naphthalene is utilized in the formulation of surfactants in the industrial sector.
The cleaning action of some industrial surfactants is enhanced with the inclusion of naphthalene.
Anthracene is utilized in scintillation counters within radiation detection.
Radiation detection in some laboratories employs anthracene for its scintillation properties.
A white crystalline aromatic compound, C10H8, derived from coal tar or petroleum and used in manufacturing dyes, moth repellents, and explosives and as a solvent. Also called tar camphor.
A crystalline aromatic hydrocarbon, C14H10, extracted from coal tar and used in the manufacture of dyes and organic chemicals.
A white crystalline hydrocarbon manufactured from coal tar; used in mothballs.
(organic compound) A tricyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (an acene containing three fused rings) obtained from coal tar; used in the manufacture of wood preservatives, insecticides and the dye alizarin; it is isomeric with phenanthrene.
(organic compound) An aromatic bicyclic hydrocarbon, C10H8; an acene containing two fused benzene rings.
A solid hydrocarbon, C6H4.C2H2.C6H4, which accompanies naphthalene in the last stages of the distillation of coal tar. Its chief use is in the artificial production of alizarin.
A white crystalline aromatic hydrocarbon, C10H8, analogous to benzene, and obtained by the distillation of certain bituminous materials, such as the heavy oil of coal tar. It is the type and basis of a large number of derivatives among organic compounds. Formerly called also naphthaline.
A white crystalline strong-smelling hydrocarbon made from coal tar or petroleum and used in organic synthesis and as a fumigant in mothballs
What is naphthalene commonly used for?
Moth repellents, in the form of mothballs.
What physical state is naphthalene typically found in?
A white, solid state which sublimates readily.
How many benzene rings does anthracene contain?
Three fused benzene rings.
What color does anthracene fluoresce under UV light?
Can naphthalene be used in dye manufacturing?
Yes, it’s utilized as a precursor in producing certain dyes.
Is anthracene utilized in electronics?
Yes, particularly in the manufacture of certain OLEDs.
What are potential applications of anthracene?
In dyes, pigments, OLEDs, and radiation detection.
Can naphthalene be found in household products?
Yes, particularly in mothballs and certain deodorizers.
Is naphthalene harmful to humans?
Yes, it can cause skin and eye irritation and may be harmful when inhaled.
What is the physical appearance of naphthalene?
It usually appears as white crystals.
Does anthracene find application in research laboratories?
Yes, it is utilized in research, especially related to its fluorescence and scintillation properties.
How does anthracene appear physically?
It generally appears as yellow crystals.
Does naphthalene have a characteristic odor?
Yes, it has a strong, distinctive odor.
How is anthracene derived industrially?
It is typically derived from coal tar.
Are naphthalene and anthracene considered polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons?
Yes, both are categorized as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Share Your Discovery
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.