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Condensation – Definition, Process, Importance, Factors, Practice Problems and FAQ

After working out in the sweltering summer heat, we all become thirsty and eat ice cream, icy beverages, and cool water.

However, have you ever observed a few water drops on the can or bottle after taking it out of the refrigerator?

Have you ever wondered where do these droplets come from?


These droplets are a result of a process called condensation. When the water vapour present in the air comes into contact with a cool surface, they condense and get converted into a liquid. This is what is observed when we take a bottle from a refrigerator.

On this concept page, we will get to know more about condensation, its importance, and the factors that affect condensation.


  • Condensation
  • Chemistry Behind Condensation Process
  • Role of Condensation in the Water Cycle
  • Chemistry of Organic Condensation Reactions
  • Factors affecting Condensation
  • Importance of Condensation
  • Practice Problems
  • Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ


Condensation is the process through which matter transitions from its initial gaseous state into its final liquid state. For instance, condensation happens when the vapour in the atmosphere, which is in its gaseous phase, comes into contact with a colder surface and condenses into water droplets. Evaporation reaction stands in contrast to condensation.

An alternative definition of condensation is as follows:

  1. Condensation is any process in which two molecules combine while losing water.
  2. Condensation is the process of removing heat from a system in a way that causes the vapour to turn into liquid.

Chemistry Behind Condensation Process

Condensation occurs when water transforms from a gaseous state to a liquid or crystallised state. Any gas can condensate at high pressure and low temperature. In theory, condensation can occur at any temperature as long as the pressure of the gas in its liquid state is lower than the pressure of the gas that is condensing. Because heat energy is removed during the condensation process, the molecules in the matter slow down.

Role of Condensation in the Water Cycle

In order for condensation to occur, the atmosphere must be completely saturated. Condensation typically occurs around pollution, dust, or microorganisms. It contributes significantly to the water cycle and so assists in preserving the water's equilibrium in the ecosystem. In order to separate mixtures and produce pure chemicals, scientists and engineers employ condensation in a variety of industrial procedures. The main points related to condensation in the water cycle are as follows.

  1. The water cycle primarily depends on condensation because it is the main reason for cloud formation.
  2. The formation of clouds, which eventually result in rain, is caused by water vapour in the atmosphere.
  3. Compared to the liquid state, the arrangement of water molecules is random in the vapour state.
  4. Condensation causes water molecules to become more ordered, releasing heat into the environment and causing the phase to transition from vapour to liquid. This usually happens in the atmosphere as heated air rises and cools.


Chemistry of Organic Condensation Reactions

Many different kinds of organic reactions are also referred to as condensation reactions. In organic chemistry, condensation is defined as a reaction between two or more molecules having the same or different compounds which result in the formation of carbon-carbon bonds without the elimination of molecules like water, alcohol, halides, etc.

Condensation reactions can be classified into two types, namely intramolecular condensation reactions and intermolecular condensation reactions.

Intramolecular Condensation Reactions: Condensation reactions in which two functional groups of the same molecule combine to generate more complex molecules are known as intramolecular condensation reactions.


Intermolecular Condensation Reaction: Condensation reactions which take place between two molecules of the same or different substance are known as intermolecular condensation reactions.


Factors affecting Condensation

Condensation happens:

(i) when the temperature of the air is dropped to the dew point while its volume remains unchanged.
(ii) when the temperature and volume are both decreased.
(iii) when evaporation introduces moisture to the air. The drop in air temperature is the circumstance that encourages condensation the greatest, though.

Therefore, the quantity of cooling and the relative humidity of the air affect condensation. The main factors which influence condensation are temperature, pressure, humidity, and air volume.

Importance of Condensation

The continuation of life on Earth depends on condensation. Water molecules begin to attract one another when they are heated. They move quickly, lose mass, and as a result, rise. When a gas cools, the water molecules pull toward one another and precipitate as rain. On Earth, rain is a significant source of freshwater. Agriculture benefits from condensation as well. Condensed water becomes available for use by plants and animals when it precipitates as rain on the earth. Condensation is crucial to human survival. Without condensation, water vapour would remain in a gaseous state and would not be able to support life as we know it.

Practice Problems

  1. What should be the ideal condition for gas to undergo condensation?
  1. High Pressure and Low Temperature
  2. Low Pressure and Low Temperature
  3. High Pressure and High Temperature
  4. Low Pressure and High Temperature

Answer: A

Solution: High pressure and low temperature can cause any gas to condense. As long as the pressure of the gas in its liquid state is lower than the pressure of the gas that is condensing, condensation can theoretically happen at any temperature.

So, option A is the correct answer.

  1. Which of the following definitions correctly describes condensation?
  1. The process by which matter changes from its initial gaseous state to its ultimate liquid state is known as condensation.
  2. Condensation is defined as any process in which two molecules come together while losing water.
  3. The act of eliminating heat from a system in such a way as to convert vapour into liquid is known as condensation.
  4. All of these

Answer: D


  1. When matter changes from its initial gaseous state to its ultimate liquid state through a process called condensation. This statement correctly describes condensation.
  1. The process in which two molecules come together while losing water is also called condensation. During this process, small molecules like water are removed. This statement also correctly describes condensation.
  1. Condensation is the process of reducing heat from a system such that liquid turns from vapour. This statement also describes condensation correctly.

So, option D is the correct answer.

  1. What are the factors which affect condensation?
  1. Temperature
  2. Air Volume
  3. Humidity
  4. All of these

Answer: D

Solution: The process of conversion of a gaseous state into its liquid state is called condensation. The factors that affect condensation are temperature, pressure, air volume, humidity, and solar radiation.

So, option D is the correct answer.

  1. There is a procedure through which a __________ transforms into a __________ and the air is cooled till it reaches the dew point. It is the opposite of __________.
  1. Gas, Gas, Evaporation
  2. liquid, Gas, Condensation
  3. Gas, liquid, Evaporation
  4. Gas, Liquid, Condensation

Answer: C

Solution: The process of condensation is the exact opposite of evaporation. A gas is transformed into its liquid form during condensation. Condensation happens in nature when the air either becomes cold enough to reach its dew point or when it becomes too saturated with water vapour to hold any more water. As a result, the process of condensation is how gas turns into a liquid and how the air is cooled to its dew point.

So, option C is the correct answer.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

When is condensation typically visible during the day?

The dew point is typically reached at night, particularly during the summer when warm days are followed by cool nights. This explains why you could notice water drops in the morning on your car, your yard, or the area outside your windows.

Why are people so dependent on condensation?

The conversion of water vapour back into liquid water is called condensation. Because condensation is what causes clouds to develop, it is crucial to our weather and climate. Without clouds, the third phase, known as precipitation would not occur.

What is dew, and what conditions are necessary for its formation?

Dew is the term for moisture that forms when water droplets are deposited on colder surfaces of solid objects like stones, grass, and plant leaves. Clear skies, calm winds, high relative humidity, and chilly, long nights are the optimum circumstances for its creation. The dew point must be higher than the freezing point in order for dew to occur.

What is the distinction between humidity and dewpoint?

The temperature at which the air gets saturated is known as the dew point (100 percent relative humidity). Only the amount of moisture in the air affects it. The percentage of saturation at a specific temperature is known as relative humidity, which is influenced by both moisture content and temperature.

Related Topics


Waste and Waste Management

Precipitation reaction

Water cycle process

Solid Pollution

Uses of Air

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