El steam it is nothing more than a state of aeration of the water once it has passed from the liquid state to the gaseous state. For water vapor to take place, it must be exposed to a temperature close to the boiling point. This gas is important for the hydrological cycle, the formation of life and global warming.
Therefore, we are going to analyze in depth that water vapor, its characteristics and importance.
It is nothing more than a delegation state of water when it phase changes from this liquid state to the gaseous state. This vapor is colorless and odorless, although it usually acquires a white and cloudy appearance when interspersed with small drops of water that are in a liquid state. Water vapor too may reduce visibility depending on its density and where you are. For example, we see that water vapor can be seen quite well when we get out of the shower and have the bathroom windows closed. This is where water vapor accumulates and turns liquid as it sticks to the walls.
In nature, steam is produced when groundwater is heated through some volcanic processes. These volcanic processes result in hot springs, geysers, fumaroles, and some types of volcanoes. Geysers are a special type of hot spring. Steam can also be generated artificially through technological systems such as fossil fuel boilers and nuclear reactors. In this way, we know that water vapor is an important source of energy for industry. And it is that most of the formation processes of electricity generation take into account the capacity of water vapor to move turbines.
It can be perceived on a day of high humidity, in the fog present during dawn or when the environment is cold and the air is sixth through the mouth. The air in the mouth contains moisture and water that is compensated for by coming into contact with cold air.
Formation of water vapor
Let's see what the main process by which water vapor is generated. The boiling of water is a physical process in which this element changes from a liquid to a gaseous state as a consequence of prolonged exposure to intense heat. The boiling temperature of water is 100 degrees. It is at these temperatures where the water begins to boil. However, water does not have to be living for water vapor to exist.
Once the liquid has reached the boiling point, it absorbs the heat to transform the liquid into vapor, but its temperature no longer increases. All liquid water will end up transforming into steam until all of the liquid mass is finished. We see this process very easily when we boil water in a pot. We must also know that the boiling temperature of water depends on the pressure to which said substance is subjected. For example, in a pressure cooker the cooking of food takes place faster given the pressure exerted by the pot itself, the boiling temperature of the water is lower.
Uses of water vapor
As you might expect, water vapor has a variety of uses in many areas. Let's see what all these uses are:
- Sterilize food: water vapor is used to eliminate microorganisms present in food. Most microorganisms die when exposed to high temperatures. For this reason, steam is used to sterilize water or certain elements such as houses that are used to cover losses.
- Engine operation: There are numerous engines that work with the combustion of fossil fuels that transform the thermal energy of a certain amount of water into mechanical energy. This is how steam engines work.
- Atomize: atomizing is nothing more than fragmenting some smaller parts. It is a process that allows a substance to be segmented into very small portions. You can also use the mechanism of an artifact that allows liquid to spread by exposing very small drops such as a spray.
- Clean: water is the universal solvent. With water you can clean all kinds of things. Steam can also be used for cleaning. By means of devices that use pressurized steam technology, it allows raising the power and cleaning all the more complex stains such as those that accumulate on carpets, furniture or clothing.
- Hydration: The steam cooking method is highly recommended for all healthy foods since it allows to preserve the vitamins, nutrients and the liquid of the food itself.
- Humidify: many of the humidifying equipment are able to improve the environmental conditions by increasing the relative humidity. There are several types of humidifiers depending on whether to evaporate ultrasound water or those that do it through heat. The latter are more preferable to use during winter as it also increases the ambient temperature slightly.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, water vapor is very important in nature. Its presence in the atmosphere is one of the most relevant. And it is that the vital component of the hydrological cycle is present in variable quantities. The average concentration in the atmosphere is around 3%. In more arid or very cold regions such as the poles, the concentration is lower.
Although it cannot be seen with the naked eye, on a clear day there is the presence of water vapor. Except that as it is a gas without color or odor, it is not directly perceived with the senses, unlike clouds that are formed by drops of liquid water and that is why they can be seen. It is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and is the most powerful of all due to its chemical structure. The warmer the planet, the more water vapor there was in the air as the rate of evaporation from oceans, lakes and other bodies of water in the world increased.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about water vapor and its characteristics.