Understanding the Gas Boiling Point

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The gas boiling point is the temperature at which a liquid (usually a chemical) boils, or changes to gas. The boiling point is an important characteristic for understanding a substance, like its density or freezing-melting point.

Boiling points are important for a variety of reasons, most importantly when storing a substance that could vaporize. Some substances have low boiling points, which can be dangerous and flammable when exposed to heat.

For example, a canister gas stove requires a fuel with a high enough boiling point to vaporize (turn into a gas) when the stove is turned on. That is why a fuel’s heating curve should always be higher than its boiling point, which is why you want to keep the fuel above its boiling point when it’s in storage.

Besides pressure, the boiling point of a liquid is affected by other factors as well. For example, the boiling point of water varies at different pressures, such as in a vacuum or above sea level.

Another important factor affecting a boiling point is the presence of dissolved impurities or other miscible compounds. Typically, this affects the boiling point of the solution by changing the normal boiling point in proportion to the concentration of the solutes.

Using this knowledge of a compound’s boiling point, we can predict the vaporization temperature (or vapor pressure) at which a liquid will turn to gas. This vapor pressure is often called the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP).