Making Naphthalene Crystals

Making Naphthalene Crystals

I realized that time passes so fast, it was about a week since I made a new post. I feel like it has been for only 3 days. Anyways, let’s get started with the post.

I’ll try to make Naphthalene crystals. Naphthalene is a white crystalline solid with a characteristic odor. It’s melting point is about 80°C. If you leave it to expose air, it’ll change into a gas.

My Naphthalene:

I put about 7 balls of Naphthalene into a 600 ml beaker, and I put a flask with cold water on top of it.

The Naphthalene is vaporizing quickly. The vapors will get in contact with the cold water in the flask and turn back into a solid.

Crystals are also forming in the beaker, because it’s touching the cold air outside, just like what’s happening in the flask.

All of the Naphthalene has changed into liquid, it was boiling a little too fast so I stopped the heat.

The crystals are so fragile so I used a trash bag to make the crystals fall onto it.

Here are the crystals. They look like fern leaves and snowflakes! But I wish the crystals were chunks, not thin like this. I looked in the internet for pictures of Naphthalene crystals, and they’re just like mine. The reason that it’s yellow is because the light is just reflecting it.

Here’s the beaker:

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23 Replies to “Making Naphthalene Crystals”

  1. Robyn Haynes – Australia – Robyn enthusiastically pursues a green and writerly life on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia, where her background as a doctor of social anthropology equips her with an interesting slant on the human condition. She spends much time indulging a passion for her garden where she ponders life and attempts to stave off existential angst. In her more reflective moments she makes wry observations on courtyard gardening and its parallels with life.
    Robyn Haynes says:

    I thought you would. Be sure to take care Dan

  2. Ah I see. And I’m not surprised it kills moths – it smells strong enough! 😀

  3. Robyn Haynes – Australia – Robyn enthusiastically pursues a green and writerly life on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia, where her background as a doctor of social anthropology equips her with an interesting slant on the human condition. She spends much time indulging a passion for her garden where she ponders life and attempts to stave off existential angst. In her more reflective moments she makes wry observations on courtyard gardening and its parallels with life.
    Robyn Haynes says:

    Do be careful with naphthalene. if you research it you will find its toxic.

  4. I put them outside in my planters and it keeps the critters from digging into them.

  5. Ha I thought they were moth balls!

  6. It turns from a solid to a gas, but in some cases, it’ll turn from a liquid to gas just like water. Mothballs are made from naphthalene, and it is used to kill insects such as moths and silverfish 🙂

  7. Cool crystals! What is Naphthaline I used for?

  8. What a fun experiment! I love the delicate fern-like crystals, which you have photographed so well.
    I think moth balls are made from naphthalene? They have a very strong smell.
    And I’m trying to remember my chemistry, but I thought naphthalene sublimed? – goes straight from a solid to a gas? Maybe it depends on the pressure and temperature.

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