Excuse me if this a dumb question but it has haunted me for years. Back in my old school days I mixed naphthalene, formaldehyde and sulfuric acid in a mad attempt to make $\mbox{2-Methoxynaphthalene}$. I can't remember if I heated the mixture or not.

It turned black instantly and my teacher at school couldn't tell me what had happened, even less why. Did I produce nano-carbon? Just soot? Or something else?

Edit: way back then, I did try the reaction without naphthalene, and also without formaldehyde, with no (noticeable) result. My teacher also repeated the experiment with the considerably more pure chemicals available at the school lab.

Edit2: as of the comment by Loong, what I did was using Marquis reagent on naphthalene. What I found on the net about this was very little and poor. I couldn't even find anything on the color of $\mbox{polymethylnaphthene}$. (Instinct tells me it should be colorless.)

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to chemistry.SE! If you had any questions about the policies of our community, please ‎visit the help center. $\endgroup$ – It's Over Dec 25 '15 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. this has nothing to do with my question here, but could you please give a newcomer like me some hint on how to do all those beautiful formulas? I saw your \mbox and that is quite familiar, but most formulas I have looked at by now are pictures, mostly *.png and I think they are not hand-made with some primitive drawing-tool. $\endgroup$ – Gyro Gearloose Dec 25 '15 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ Please visit this page, this page and this ‎one on how to format your posts better using the Mathjax syntax our site uses. Regarding the structural formulas, there are certain molecular editors (some online), that you can use for this purpose. I suggest just Googling for "molecular editor" and choose the one you're most comfy with. $\endgroup$ – It's Over Dec 25 '15 at 16:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @GyroGearloose Your description reads as if you made a Marquis reaction. $\endgroup$ – Loong Dec 26 '15 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Loong Thank you, so I produced polymethylnaphthalene? $\endgroup$ – Gyro Gearloose Dec 27 '15 at 11:20

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