Fluoranthene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH). The molecule can be viewed as the fusion of naphthalene and benzene unit connected by a five-membered ring. Although samples are often pale yellow, the compound is colorless. It is soluble in nonpolar organic solvents. It is a member of the class of PAHs known as non-alternant PAHs because it has rings other than those with six carbon atoms. It is a structural isomer of the alternant PAH pyrene. It is not as thermodynamically stable as pyrene. Its name is derived from its fluorescence under UV light.
Fluoranthene was originally isolated from coal tar pitch. It is still obtained from the high boiling fraction of coal tar, representing a few percent by weight.
Fluoranthene has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a group 3 carcinogen.