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Why do some liquids evaporate easily and faster than other liquids?

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markonator | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 3, 2012 at 7:26 AM via web

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Why do some liquids evaporate easily and faster than other liquids?

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted March 3, 2012 at 9:45 AM (Answer #1)

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There are several factors that affect the rate of evaporation among different liquids.  First of all, evaporation is one of two types of vaporization that occur among liquids.  This is when molecules of the liquid at the surface overcome the attractive forces between themself and the other liquid molecules and enter the gaseous phase of the substance.  Liquids that have a higher density will have a lower rate of evaporation, because there is more attraction between their molecules.  Liquids that have a high surface tension will also tend to have a lower rate of evaporation as well, because the molecules in them tend to "cling" to each other.  And lastly, temperature can have an effect, as different substances have different boiling points.  Some liquids have different specific heat capacities, which can lead to differing rates of evaporation.

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