Nonvolatile Definition Chemistry

If you want to know anything about nonvolatile definition chemistry, don’t miss important information that we’re going to mention below. Truly, this knowledge is what you learned from school. And we just summarize the main ideas in order to help you understand better.

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Nonvolatile definition in chemistry

A nonvolatile substance is a substance which does not readily vapor under existing conditions. This is mostly due to their powerful intermolecular forces. The common features of such substances are a lower vapor pressure and high boiling points. In addition, the presence of a solute in a solvent reduces the capacity of that certain solvent to evaporate. But, after evaporation, the nonvolatile solute won’t appear in the vapor phase of the volatile solvent.

Let’s look at some typical examples!

  • Glycerin (C3H8O3) is a nonvolatile liquid. It’s truly a neutral, colorless, sweet-tasting, and thick liquid that freezes to a gummy paste. That’s why glycerin is most commonly used in soap and is also a familiar ingredient in lots of pharmaceuticals.
  • Sugar (sucrose) is a nonvolatile solid. It’s known as a common table sugar that is acquired from sugar cane or sugar beets. In addition, it’s found in fruits and vegetables.
  • Salt (sodium chloride) is another nonvolatile solid. This inorganic compound is essential for our body because it helps us maintain blood pressure and the correct balance of fluid, contract and relax muscles, absorb and transfer nutrients, and convey nerve signals.
  • And so on

Generally, it’s not difficult to determinethe nonvolatile substances if you take into account the materials’ properties that are volatile. You can easily recognize some common volatile substances such as gasoline, perfume or alcoholvia their typical smell. Meanwhile, you don’t smell the nonvolatile materials since they don’t transform from solids or liquids into the vapor phase.


How about volatility in chemistry?


Actually, the best way to know which substance is nonvolatile and volatile is to rely on its smell. You can easily recognize the smell of alcohol surrounding since it readily releases its molecules into the air. So, the volatile substance is the substance that has a higher ability to turn into the vapor phase. It also has much weaker intermolecular attractions. That’s why it can be easily transferred into the vapor phase. Plus, it comes with a high vapor pressure and low boiling point.

Most of the organic substances are volatile because they can be easily divided via distillation or rotating evaporators. Besides, they can evaporate at room temperature when exposed to air because of the weak intermolecular forces. What’s more, you should notice some harmfulvolatile substances because whenreleasing in the atmosphere, they can easily penetrate into your systems through inhalation. From there, they might create dangerous effects on chronic exposure. Or even these substances can bring bad effects on the environment such as ozone layer depletion or global warming.


Difference between nonvolatile and volatile substances

Here are 5 main differences between nonvolatile and volatile substances that you should know.

  • Nonvolatile substances don’t have a high vapor pressure at normal room temperature and pressure while volatile ones come with a high vapor pressure in these conditions.
  • Nonvolatile substances are generally hardly flammable compared to volatile ones.
  • Nonvolatile substances don’t have a tendency to vaporize while the volatile ones do.
  • It’s not easy to detect the nonvolatile substances by smell; however, you can smell the volatile substances.
  • The volume of the nonvolatile liquids won’t decrease if being heated or stored in an open container. But, this happens to volatile liquids.

Watch this video to know more about this difference


In sum



To bring out the final conclusion of nonvolatile definition chemistry. Please memorize two important things.

  • Nonvolatile substances are hard to be transformed to the gaseous phase and they come with higher boiling points and low vapor phase. In contrast, volatile substances can be readily sent into the vapor phase and have the low boiling points.
  • Most of the nonvolatile substances are polar with a powerful interaction between molecules. Meanwhile, the volatile ones are nonpolar and have the weak intermolecular forces. That’s why they don’t have any powerful intermolecular attractions.

Generally, we hope that this article helps you draw a specific look at the nonvolatile and volatile definitions in chemistry. And if you’re interested in this field, you can easily find lots of useful posts here. Check for further information now!