Boiling Point

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When this is done, the liquid is said to be supercooled. When this solid melts, the sodium acetate dissolves in the water that was trapped in the crystal to form a solution. When the solution cools to room temperature, it should solidify.

Boiling point | chemistry |

But it often doesn't. If a small crystal of sodium acetate trihydrate is added to the liquid, however, the contents of the flask solidify within seconds. A liquid can become supercooled because the particles in a solid are packed in a regular structure that is characteristic of that particular substance. Some of these solids form very easily; others do not. Some need a particle of dust, or a seed crystal, to act as a site on which the crystal can grow. It is difficult for these particles to organize themselves, but a seed crystal can provide the framework on which the proper arrangement of ions and water molecules can grow.

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Because it is difficult to heat solids to temperatures above their melting points, and because pure solids tend to melt over a very small temperature range, melting points are often used to help identify compounds. Measurements of the melting point of a solid can also provide information about the purity of the substance. Pure, crystalline solids melt over a very narrow range of temperatures, whereas mixtures melt over a broad temperature range. Mixtures also tend to melt at temperatures below the melting points of the pure solids.

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When a liquid is heated, it eventually reaches a temperature at which the vapor pressure is large enough that bubbles form inside the body of the liquid. Knowing the boiling point of a substance is an important consideration for storage.

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  8. Items with a low boiling point generally have a high vapor pressure. Containers of such material can build up signicant pressure even when they are below their boiling point. Likewise, low-boiling materials easily produce large amounts of vapor which can be flammable or even explosive.

    Additional definitions from Google and OneLook. Monday, February 12, The element with the lowest boiling point is helium. Both the boiling points of rhenium and tungsten exceed K at standard pressure ; because it is difficult to measure extreme temperatures precisely without bias, both have been cited in the literature as having the higher boiling point. As can be seen from the above plot of the logarithm of the vapor pressure vs.

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    A given pure compound has only one normal boiling point, if any, and a compound's normal boiling point and melting point can serve as characteristic physical properties for that compound, listed in reference books. The higher a compound's normal boiling point, the less volatile that compound is overall, and conversely, the lower a compound's normal boiling point, the more volatile that compound is overall. Some compounds decompose at higher temperatures before reaching their normal boiling point, or sometimes even their melting point.


    For a stable compound, the boiling point ranges from its triple point to its critical point , depending on the external pressure. Beyond its triple point, a compound's normal boiling point, if any, is higher than its melting point. Beyond the critical point, a compound's liquid and vapor phases merge into one phase, which may be called a superheated gas. At any given temperature, if a compound's normal boiling point is lower, then that compound will generally exist as a gas at atmospheric external pressure. If the compound's normal boiling point is higher, then that compound can exist as a liquid or solid at that given temperature at atmospheric external pressure, and will so exist in equilibrium with its vapor if volatile if its vapors are contained.

    If a compound's vapors are not contained, then some volatile compounds can eventually evaporate away in spite of their higher boiling points. In general, compounds with ionic bonds have high normal boiling points, if they do not decompose before reaching such high temperatures. Many metals have high boiling points, but not all.

    Very generally—with other factors being equal—in compounds with covalently bonded molecules , as the size of the molecule or molecular mass increases, the normal boiling point increases. When the molecular size becomes that of a macromolecule , polymer , or otherwise very large, the compound often decomposes at high temperature before the boiling point is reached.

    Boiling point

    Another factor that affects the normal boiling point of a compound is the polarity of its molecules. As the polarity of a compound's molecules increases, its normal boiling point increases, other factors being equal. Closely related is the ability of a molecule to form hydrogen bonds in the liquid state , which makes it harder for molecules to leave the liquid state and thus increases the normal boiling point of the compound. Simple carboxylic acids dimerize by forming hydrogen bonds between molecules. A minor factor affecting boiling points is the shape of a molecule.

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    Making the shape of a molecule more compact tends to lower the normal boiling point slightly compared to an equivalent molecule with more surface area. Most volatile compounds anywhere near ambient temperatures go through an intermediate liquid phase while warming up from a solid phase to eventually transform to a vapor phase.

    By comparison to boiling, a sublimation is a physical transformation in which a solid turns directly into vapor, which happens in a few select cases such as with carbon dioxide at atmospheric pressure. For such compounds, a sublimation point is a temperature at which a solid turning directly into vapor has a vapor pressure equal to the external pressure. In the preceding section, boiling points of pure compounds were covered. Vapor pressures and boiling points of substances can be affected by the presence of dissolved impurities solutes or other miscible compounds, the degree of effect depending on the concentration of the impurities or other compounds.

    The presence of non-volatile impurities such as salts or compounds of a volatility far lower than the main component compound decreases its mole fraction and the solution's volatility, and thus raises the normal boiling point in proportion to the concentration of the solutes.

    This effect is called boiling point elevation. As a common example, salt water boils at a higher temperature than pure water.