Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Thermodynamic Properties of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons



Thomas C. Allison, Donald R. Burgess Jr.


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are molecules that exist on earth due to natural and man-made causes. They are a significant health concern as many PAH compounds are known to be carcinogenic. PAHs are generally thermodynamically stable and hydrophbic and thus have a tendency to accumulate in the environment and are difficult to remove. An understanding of various chemical properties of PAHs is an important part of gauging their impact on human health. The motivation for this special publication comes from the present authors’ interest in the chemistry of PAHs and the seminal work of Sander and Wise, previously published as NIST Special Publication 922: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Structure Index (SP922). The present authors have recently completed a study of several quantum chemistry methods for producing high-quality enthalpies of formation at 298 K for a large number of PAH compounds and substituted PAH compounds. The thermodynamic tables presented herein are an expansion of the present authors’ work on predicting enthalpies of formation of PAHs at 298 K.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1186
Report Number


PAH, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, thermochemistry


Allison, T. and Burgess, D. (2015), Thermodynamic Properties of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 23, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created December 16, 2015, Updated November 10, 2018