Difference Between Evaporation and Condensation

Evaporation vs Condensation

Condensation and evaporation are two very important phenomena we encounter in our daily life. Incidents such as rain clouds, water droplets around a cool drink can be explained using these phenomena. Evaporation and condensation have a variety of applications in fields such as analytical chemistry, industrial chemistry, process engineering, thermodynamics and even medical sciences. It is vital to have a good understanding in these phenomena in order to have a good understanding in their applications. In this article, we are going to discuss what evaporation and condensation are, their definitions, applications of these two phenomena, the similarities between these two and finally the differences between condensation and evaporation.

What is Condensation?

Condensation is the change of the physical state of matter from the gaseous phase into the liquid phase. The reverse process of condensation is known as vaporization. Condensation can occur due to many factors. A proper understanding in saturated vapor is required, to have a clear understanding of condensation. A liquid in any temperature is evaporated. However, when the liquid is heated beyond the boiling point of the liquid, the boiling process begins. When the heat is supplied for enough time, the whole liquid will evaporate. This vapor is now a gas. The temperature of this gas must be higher than the boiling point of the liquid in the system’s pressure. If the temperature of the system drops below the boiling point, the vapor starts to turn into the liquid again. This is known as condensation. Another method of condensation is keeping the temperature constant and increasing the pressure of the system. This will cause the actual boiling point to be increased, and the vapor to be condensed. A sudden drop in the temperature can also cause condensation. Dew formation around a cool drink is such a phenomenon.

What is Evaporation?

Evaporation is the phase change of a liquid to the gas state. Evaporation is one of the two types of vaporization. The other form of vaporization is boiling. Evaporation occurs only on the surface of the liquid. When the energy of such a surface liquid molecule is increased due to any internal or external factor, the molecule will be able to break the intermolecular bonds acting on it, thus creating a gas molecule. This process can occur is any temperature. The common sources for evaporation energy are sun light, wind or temperature of the environment. The rate of evaporation of a liquid depends on these external factors as well some internal factors of the liquid. Internal factors such as the surface area of the liquid, intermolecular bond strength of the liquid and relative molecular mass of the object affect the evaporation of the liquid.


What is the difference between Evaporation and Condensation?

• In condensation, the gas molecules release energy to the environment and become liquid molecules. In evaporation, the liquid molecules absorb energy from the surrounding to become gas molecules.

• Evaporation and condensation are both occurring in natural liquids. If the rate of evaporation is greater than the rate of condensation, a net evaporation is observed, and the liquid quantity is reduced and vice versa.