Difference Between Evaporation and Condensation

When we study liquids in chemistry, we tend to hear words like evaporation and condensation a lot. While these words tend to sound the same but there are totally different when it comes to the nature of the processes. Besides, water is usually used as an example to understand these concepts.

We all know water consists of molecules and they are held close to each other by some force. The molecules are free to move independently though. However, apart from this force, the water molecules also have some kind of thermal energy created by extremely fast vibrations. Thus, molecules at surface level move or vibrate with a strong force that they move out into the air and become vapor. This is called evaporation. At the same time, the process is reversible and molecules can join back to form liquids. This is known as condensation.

Difference Between Evaporation and Condensation

In essence, evaporation and condensation usually refers to a state of matter or a phase change between vapor and liquids. However, there are some key differences between evaporation and condensation.You can find the differences below.

Difference Between Evaporation and Condensation



By definition, evaporation is a process where water changes into vapour.

Condensation is the opposite process where water vapour is converted to tiny droplets of water.

Evaporation occurs before a liquid reaches its boiling point.

Condensation is a phase change regardless of the temperature.

In terms of molecular movement, when a liquid is heated or when pressure is decreased the forces of attraction between molecules is low. The liquid then evaporates to a gas.

When a gas is cooled or when the pressure is increased the forces of attraction between molecules become strong. The gas then condenses to either a liquid or even a solid.

Evaporation can occur in all surfaces, at all times and at all places. Evaporation is frequent when the air is dry, hot and windy.

Condensation takes place on salt, hygroscopic nuclei-pollen grains,carbon particles etc.when air temperature is decreased beyond the level of saturation.

Evaporation usually takes place in low altitudes.

Condensation happens mainly at higher altitudes.

When evaporation takes place energy is consumed.

In the process of condensation energy is released.

These are some of the differences between evaporation and condensation. To know more about important differences between other chemistry topics you can keep visiting BYJU’s or download our app for interesting content and learning experience.

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