Expert Answers
justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Volatile liquids are liquids which have a very high tendency to convert to the gas phase. This is dependent on the vapor pressure of the liquid.

The pressure at which different substances can stay at equilibrium with their liquid phase and their gas phase is different. If for the same temperature, a liquid has a higher vapor pressure than another, it is considered to be more volatile.

If the vapor pressure for a liquid is more than the surrounding atmospheric pressure for a particular temperature it has a tendency to convert to gas phase at that temperature. Volatile liquids have a vapor pressure higher than the normal atmospheric pressure at normal room temperature.

kristy5138 | Student

Volatile liquids are liquids with low boiling points and high vapor pressure- in other words, they tend to evaporate more easily at room temperature. Substances have different pressures in which they can maintain equilibrium between their liquid and gas phases. The higher a liquid’s vapor pressure, the more volatile it is.

Because of their low boiling points, volatile liquids convert to the gas phase at a lower temperature and the gas molecules can diffuse faster than the molecules of a non-volatile liquid. This is the reason why perfumes use volatile liquids so that their odor can disperse more quickly into the air.

Some other examples of volatile liquids include acetone, ammonia, dichloromethane, and diethylether.