Naphthalene is an organic compound. It is the simplest polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, and is a white crystalline solid with a characteristic odor that is detectable at concentrations as low as 0.08 ppm by mass.
1. Naphthalene is mainly used as a precursor to other chemicals. The single largest use of naphthalene is the industrial production of phthalic anhydride, although more phthalic anhydride is made from o-xylene
2. Other naphthalene-derived chemicals include alkyl naphthalene sulfonate surfactants, and the insecticide 1-naphthyl-N-methylcarbamate (carbaryl). Naphthalenes substituted with combinations of strongly electron-donating functional groups, such as alcohols and amines, and strongly electron-withdrawing groups, especially sulfonic acids, are intermediates in the preparation of many synthetic dyes
3. The hydrogenated naphthalenes tetrahydronaphthalene (tetralin) and decahydronaphthalene (decalin) are used as low-volatility solvents. Naphthalene is also used in the synthesis of 2- 2-naphthol, a precursor for various dyestuffs, pigments, rubber processing chemicals and other miscellaneous chemicals and pharmaceuticals
4. Naphthalene sulfonic acids are used in the manufacture of naphthalene sulfonate polymer plasticizers (dispersants) which are used to produce concrete and plasterboard (wallboard or drywall)
5. Naphthalene is also used as dispersants in synthetic and natural rubbers, and as tanning agents (syntans) in leather industries, agricultural formulations (dispersants for pesticides), dyes and as a dispersant in Lead-acid battery plates.
6. Naphthalene's most familiar use is as a household fumigant, such as in mothballs although 1,4-dichlorobenzene (or p-dichlorobenzene) is now more widely used