Difference Between Evaporation and Condensation

When we study liquids in chemistry, we often hear words like evaporation and condensation. 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 thermal energy created by extremely fast vibrations. Thus, molecules at the surface level move or vibrate with a strong force that they move out into the air and become vapour. 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 refer to a state of matter or a phase change between vapour and liquids. However, there are some key differences between evaporation and condensation. You can find the differences below.

Difference Between Evaporation and Condensation
Evaporation Condensation
By definition, evaporation is a process where water changes into a 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, the forces of attraction between molecules are low when a liquid is heated or when pressure is decreased. The liquid then evaporates into a gas. When a gas is cooled or when the pressure increases, the forces of attraction between molecules become strong. The gas then condenses to either a liquid or even a solid.
Evaporation can occur on all surfaces, at all times and at all places. Evaporation is frequent when the air is dry, hot and windy. Condensation occurs on salt, hygroscopic nuclei-pollen grains, carbon particles, etc. when the air temperature is decreased beyond saturation.
When evaporation takes place, energy is consumed. In the process of condensation, energy is released.

These are some 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 a learning experience.

Related Links:

Evaporation causes Cooling Evaporation And Condensation – Separation Techniques
Aldol Condensation Differences between Evaporation and Boiling
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