High boiling point yet evaporates quickly

Is there a chemistry term for evaporation temperature? I read that the definition of a “volatile organic compound” is something that vaporizes quickly due to a low boiling point, yet that seems to be only weakly related to evaporation - surely it would be something else called evaporation temperature?

Vapor pressure. Boiling point is when vapor pressure equals atmospheric pressure. Substances have different vapor pressure curves.

For evaporation to occur molecules must be liquid, located near the surface, moving in the right direction i.e towards the surface, and have enough kinetic energy to break the surface tension.
There are (some) water molecules which will evaporate from ice. Until temperatures get down to absolute zero there will be the potential for some of the 6.023 x 10*23 molecules in every 18 grams to water to evaporate.

Temperature is only one of the factors. The others are pressure, surface area and density.

Plus what SamuelA said. :slight_smile:

Evaporation and vaporization are exactly the same thing … having a solid or liquid turn into it’s gas state … at best we can refine evaporation as the solid or liquid turning into a gas and mixing with air … but it’s still vaporization …

I think the distinction would be that vaporization has three forms. One being evaporation which is the transition from liquid to gas (i.e. not sublimation) and that it takes place at the surface (i.e. not boiling).

Keep in mind that all liquids tend to exist in a state of equilibrium with the atmosphere around them. Some substances, like a mixture of ice and water, will have a constant movement of molecules between three phases as they bump into each other and transmit their energy. Anything that you smell is due to particles of the substance breaking free from the bonds of what they once were and being taken up into the atmosphere, so there are plenty of things that one generally doesn’t consider as particularly volatile that have at least some part of their surfaces constantly detaching itself to allow you to smell them.

One fun thing we did in Chemistry class is to spread a thin layer of water on the lab table. It would just sit there minding its own business, maybe slowly drying, but waving your hand quickly over the surface, constantly clearing the air right near the surface of the water of the water vapor building up as it slowly evaporates, would greatly speed up the process of evaporation and it would disappear in a matter of seconds.