Changes in ecotoxicity of naphthalene and alkylated naphthalenes during photodegradation in water

Hyun Joong Kang, Yerin Jung, Jung Hwan Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Crude oil released into the environment contains many polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Alkylated PAHs are more abundant than unsubstituted PAHs and their toxicity is also of serious concern. Among the various physical, chemical, and biological weathering processes of crude oils, photodegradation is one of the most important for determining the environmental fate of oil residues. In this study, the photodegradation rate constants of naphthalene and alkylated naphthalenes were determined under simulated laboratory conditions at different temperature. Changes in the luminescence inhibition of Aliivibrio fischeri, as an indicator of the baseline toxicity, were observed in photodegradation mixtures. The major transformation products were also identified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The photodegradation of naphthalene and the eight alkylated naphthalenes was described well by pseudo-first-order kinetics regardless of experimental temperature. The measured toxicity of the reaction mixtures obtained by photodegradative weathering slightly increased initially and then decreased with further weathering. In all cases, the observed toxicity was greater than accounted for by the parent compounds, indicating that the photodegradation products also contributed significantly to the overall toxicity of the mixtures. The identified photodegradation products were mostly oxygenated compounds such as alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and quinones, which warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-664
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was part of the project entitled “Oil Spill Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Restoration (PM57431)” funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries , Korea and supported by a Korea University Grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Alkylated naphthalenes
  • Mixture toxicity
  • Oil spill
  • Photodegradation
  • Photodegradation products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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