Fate of Polynuclear Aromatic Compounds (PNAs) in Soil-Plant Systems
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) consist of three or more fused benzene rings in linear, angular, or cluster arrangements. Substitution of carbon in the benzene ring with nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen, or other elements creates heterocyclic aromatic compounds (Blumer 1976). Excluding diphenyl types there are some 70 possible isomers of 4-6 fused rings. Additionally these isomers may be substituted by a variety of substituents (Erskine and Whitehead 1975). The aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocycles, unsubstituted and substituted, are referred to alternatively as polynuclear aromatics (PNAs), polycyclic aromatic compounds (PCAs), and polycyclic organic matter (POM) (NAS 1972, U.S. EPA 1975 b).
Sims, Ronald C. and Overcash, M. R., "Fate of Polynuclear Aromatic Compounds (PNAs) in Soil-Plant Systems" (1983). Biological Engineering Faculty Publications. Paper 65.