We explain what vaporization is, how this physical process occurs and various examples. Also, evaporation and boiling.

Vaporization encompasses specific processes such as sublimation and boiling.

What is vaporization?

Vaporization o evaporation is he process physical phase change through which the matter pass liquid state or solid to gaseous (steam). It is a term in general use, in the context of Sciences, which can encompass and group more specific transformation processes, such as sublimation (passage from solid to gaseous) or boiling (intense passage from liquid to gaseous).

Vaporization is a physical phenomenon very everyday, present in many areas of the life of human being, as well as in different natural environments. In fact, it is an indispensable part of the hydrological cycle, which allows the perpetuation of Water at planet through a circuit of transformations that, at the same time, allows the circulation of the Energy.

However, it is also possible to use vaporization as a mixture separation method, especially from solutions. It consists of carrying the mixture to a point of temperature me Pressure in which a single of the mixed substances evaporates, and becomes a gas and separates from the other substance that remains in the container where both were contained.

This is possible thanks to the fact that the different substances have boiling points and very different evaporation margins, which respond to their nature chemistry. This is what happens, for example, when sea water evaporates due to the action of Sun, and the crystals of the salt dissolved in the liquid remain on the rocks.

Evaporation, vaporization and boiling

We can speak of evaporation and vaporization interchangeably, since they are synonyms. However, the term "boil" refers to another concept:

  • Evaporation. We speak of evaporation when a liquid left standing evaporates, without having to add heat or modify its conditions expressly. For example, if we leave a glass of water forgotten for a while, it will evaporate sooner or later, and we will find the glass empty.
  • Boiling. When we speak of boiling, we refer to the change from liquid phase to gas phase of a substance, to which we are introducing heat until bringing it to its boiling point. It differs from evaporation in that it requires an express modification of the temperature and / or pressure conditions of the liquid. This is what happens, for example, when we boil water and we can see the steam escaping from the surface of the liquid, as the steam decreases in the container.

Examples of vaporization

Water evaporates naturally due to sunlight and thus, for example, salt is obtained.

Some examples of vaporization:

  • The Water of the rain that remains on the street will slowly transform into steam due to the action of the sunlight.
  • When we clean our hands with alcohol, this disappears quickly because it turns gaseous almost immediately when it is subjected to the regular pressure of the atmosphere.
  • The natural gas liquefied (in a liquid state) used by certain vehicles such as fuel immediately recovers its gaseous state when decompressed by allowing it to exit the container.
  • Some hydrocarbons Liquids can release toxic gases spontaneously, when they are extracted from the subsoil, due to the fact that part of their upper layers evaporate rapidly.
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