Colorimetric Detection of Acenaphthene and Naphthalene Using Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Apr 2;24(7):6635. doi: 10.3390/ijms24076635.


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are a class of chemicals that occur naturally. They generally demonstrate a high degree of critical toxicity towards humans. Acenaphthene and naphthalene contain compounds that are commonly found in the environment as compared to other PAHs. Consequently, a reliable method of detecting PAHs is crucial for the monitoring of water quality. A colorimetric method based on sodium nitrite-functionalized gold nanoparticles was developed in this study for acenaphthene and naphthalene detection. Different functionalized parameters are determined for the optimization of assay conditions. A linear relationship was found in the analyte concentration range of 0.1-10 ppm with the limit of detection for acenaphthene and naphthalene being 0.046 ppm and 0.0015 ppm, respectively, under the optimized assay conditions. The method's recovery rate for actual samples falls within the range of 98.4-103.0%. In selective and anti-interference tests, the presence of cations and anions has minimal impact on the detection of the analyte. The colorimetric detection method proposed in this study effectively determines the presence of the analyte in real water samples and has a high recovery rate.

Keywords: acenaphthene; colorimetric; gold nanoparticles; naphthalene.

MeSH terms

  • Acenaphthenes
  • Colorimetry
  • Gold
  • Humans
  • Metal Nanoparticles*
  • Naphthalenes
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons* / chemistry


  • acenaphthene
  • Acenaphthenes
  • Gold
  • naphthalene
  • Naphthalenes
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons