From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia


2-Methylnaphthalene is an organic compound with the chemical formula C11H10. It is a derivative of naphthalene, where one of the hydrogen atoms in the naphthalene structure is replaced by a methyl group. This modification results in a compound that exhibits unique physical and chemical properties compared to its parent compound, naphthalene. 2-Methylnaphthalene is one of the two isomers of methylnaphthalene, the other being 1-methylnaphthalene. The difference between these isomers lies in the position of the methyl group on the naphthalene structure.

Properties[edit | edit source]

2-Methylnaphthalene is a colorless, oily liquid that is insoluble in water but soluble in most organic solvents such as ethanol, diethyl ether, and benzene. It has a characteristic aromatic odor similar to that of naphthalene. The compound has a boiling point of approximately 240-242 °C and a melting point of about 34-38 °C.

Production and Synthesis[edit | edit source]

2-Methylnaphthalene is primarily produced through the distillation of coal tar, a byproduct of the production of coke from coal. It can also be synthesized by the alkylation of naphthalene with methanol in the presence of a strong acid catalyst.

Applications[edit | edit source]

2-Methylnaphthalene is used in the manufacture of various chemicals, including vitamin K3, certain dyes, and other organic compounds. It serves as a starting material in the synthesis of 2-methylnaphthoquinone, an intermediate in the production of vitamin K3. Additionally, it is used as a solvent or a component of solvent mixtures in various industrial processes.

Health and Safety[edit | edit source]

Exposure to 2-methylnaphthalene can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact. It is considered to be potentially harmful, with possible risks to human health including respiratory tract irritation, skin irritation, and other toxic effects. Proper safety measures, including the use of personal protective equipment and adequate ventilation, are recommended when handling this compound.

Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

Like many aromatic hydrocarbons, 2-methylnaphthalene can have adverse effects on the environment. It is capable of contaminating water and soil, posing risks to aquatic life and potentially entering the food chain. Measures to prevent or mitigate environmental contamination include proper waste disposal, spill response, and adherence to environmental regulations.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD