Sublimation Definition Chemistry

Sublimation definition chemistry can be defined as transmutation of a solid material from its solid form to its gaseous state without it being liquid. At normal atmospheric pressure and temperature, the evaporation of frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) is one example of this phenomenon.

Sublimation Definition Chemistry

:eight_pointed_black_star: Definition of Sublimation

Sublimation is the process by which a solid phase changes to a gas phase without going through a liquid phase in between. At pressures and temperatures below the triple point, this thermally activated phase transformation occurs.

The term “sublimation” refers to physical state changes, not to the chemical transformation of a solid into a gas. When candle wax is combustible, for example, the paraffin is evaporated and interacts with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and water. Sublimation is not the same as this.

Deposition or de-sublimation is the inverse of sublimation—when a gas undergoes a phase shift into solid form.

:eight_pointed_black_star: Examples of Sublimation in Real Life

To help you better comprehend this process, consider the following real-world instances of sublimation:

:small_red_triangle_down: Dry Ice

As previously stated, dry ice is one of the most common real-world instances of sublimation. Dry ice, as the solid form of carbon dioxide, gives a Smokey look that is frequently employed in modern ice cream parlors. Due of the substance’s relative safety, it is frequently utilized in classroom presentations.

Teachers are, however, recommended to adhere to established safety practices in order to decrease the chance of mishaps. Additionally, safety equipment like as goggles, tongs, and gloves must be worn. While carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas in the atmosphere, at some concentrations, it may be dangerous. This can obstruct breathing, resulting in suffocation.

Adults can provide excellent demos at home to interest children and educate them about the process. For example, soaking dry ice in water causes bubbles to form and smoke to be produced. The bubbles are formed as a result of the heat generated when dry ice sublimes.

:small_red_triangle_down: Water

While it’s unsurprising that ice melts when heated, frozen water may also become air under certain conditions. That is correct. While it may be difficult to see the procedure, the outcomes will still be visible. The southern reaches of Mount Everest provide the finest opportunities to observe real-world examples of sublimation.

In a nutshell, the extreme cold, dry air, and bright sunshine provide the ideal conditions for snow to sublime. In the United States, severe temperatures can cause snow to evaporate before it melts. Thus, if you’re fortunate enough, you’ll be able to see sublimation firsthand.

:small_red_triangle_down: Printers with specialized capabilities

Thought sublimation was just used in chemical laboratories? This is where you are incorrect. Additionally, the sublimation method is advantageous for printing high-quality pictures. This is accomplished using a dry-sublimation printer equipped with a specific film.

When the film is heated, the colors therein sublimate and are caught on paper. When the pigment begins to cool, it solidifies, leaving a picture on the paper.

:small_red_triangle_down: Drying in the Freeze

This is mostly due to the fact that frozen meals are freeze-dried to eliminate excess moisture and preserve perishable ingredients. While this procedure takes place in factories, the consequences may be seen at home while stocking up on frozen foods.

This process begins with the freezing of items, followed by the reduction of pressure and addition of heat. This results in the sublimation of frozen water contained in the goods.

:small_red_triangle_down: Air Purifiers

We cannot fail to consider air fresheners while discussing sublimation instances. Natural solid air fresheners (usually seen in toilets) are recognized to be magnificent. Sublimation may be shown by heating a solid air freshener in a hot water bath. While this is occurring, onlookers will note that solid air fresheners are rapidly converting to gas.


This experiment, however, will require the use of a fume closet to keep air from escaping. Additionally, because the majority of air fresheners include toxic chemicals, teachers should take reasonable care to avoid mishaps.

:eight_pointed_black_star: Sublimation and the Hydrological Cycle

Sublimation and the Hydrological Cycle

Sublimation is the direct conversion of matter between its solid and gaseous states, with no intermediary liquid state. Sublimation is the process through which snow and ice turn into water vapor in the air without melting. Sublimation is the inverse of deposition, which occurs when water vapor transforms straight into ice, such as snowflakes and frost.

It is difficult to observe sublimation in action, at least not with ice. To observe sublimation in action, hang a damp shirt outside on a below-freezing day. Eventually, the ice will melt from the clothing. Indeed, the easiest approach to illustrate sublimation is to utilize carbon dioxide rather than water.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, have a look at this image of dry ice. Dry ice is really solid, frozen co2 that sublimates, or turns into gas, at -78.5°C (-109.3°F). The fog you see is essentially a combination of cold carbon dioxide and freezing, humid air that forms as the dry ice “melts”… well, sublimates. To learn more about dry ice, go here.

:small_red_triangle_down: Without heat, sublimation is impossible.

Ice would not sublimate into vapor without the addition of energy (heat). That is why sunshine is so important in the natural world. Water possesses a physical attribute known as “heat of vaporization,” which refers to the amount of heat required to evaporate it. If you’re looking for a precise value, the heat of vaporization of water is 540 calories per gram, or 2,260 kilojoules per kilogram.

That is significantly more energy than the 80 calories/gram required to turn water to ice (the latent heat of fusion). Additionally, it consumes approximately five times the energy required to heat water from the freezing to the boiling point. In summary, energy is required to convert ice to vapor, and the majority of that energy is consumed during the vaporization process.


A cubic centimeter (1 gram) of ice water takes 80 calories to melt, 100 calories to bring to a boil, and another 540 calories to evaporate, for a total of 720 calories. Sublimation, on the other hand, uses the same amount of energy but avoids the liquid phase.

:eight_pointed_black_star: Experiment - Air freshener sublimation

Experiment - Air freshener sublimation

Sublimation is an intriguing physical transformation that occurs when substances transition straight from the solid to the gas state without going through the liquid stage. Dry ice, iodine, and mothballs all have a sublime effect. This experiment examines another often sublimed chemical - air freshener.

A hot water bath is used to heat pieces of solid air freshener, and the vapor is captured by chilling with ice. Due to the absence of liquid, students will understand how a solid may transform straight into a gas without passing through the liquid phase. This experiment requires the use of a fume cabinet or another technique of restricting escape into the air.

This experiment is most effective when performed as a demonstration. Given that nothing happens for several minutes, it might be prudent to provide another activity for pupils to engage in while they wait.

The majority of the ingredients in air fresheners are toxic. This is not a concern in everyday usage due to the low vapour pressure and hence the low amount of water vapor in the air. However, heating them causes them to sublime rapidly, and their concentrations in the air may reach toxic levels, necessitating the installation of a fume cabinet or other way of preventing escape into the air.

No Equipment
1 Apparatus
2 Protection for the eyes
3 Possessing access to a fume cupboard
4 Hand Gloves (for those with sensitive skin)
5 x2 Beakers (100 cm3)
6 Standing, bossing, and clamping
7 Thermometer with a shallow dish (-10–110 °C)
8 Cauldron (for hot water)

:small_red_triangle_down: Notes on health and safety, as well as technical information

  • Consult our basic health and safety guidelines.

  • Protect your eyes and hands with eye protection and gloves. Conduct your work in a fume cupboard.

  • Air freshener - solid toilet bowl cleansers work best; choose for a colored one if feasible. Use tongs to handle cheap ones containing 1,4-dichlorobenzene (para-dichlorobenzene), C6H4Cl2(s). DANGEROUS TO THE ENVIRONMENT – CLEAPSS Hazcard HC023. Air fresheners in the gel form will not function.

:small_red_triangle_down: Procedure

  • Protect your eyes and work in a fume cupboard. In the bottom of one of the 100 cm3 beakers, place a few lumps of air freshener. Fill the remaining beaker halfway with ice.

  • In a shallow dish, place the beaker containing the air freshener.

  • Clamp the beaker with the ice carefully on top of the beaker containing the air freshener. Refer to the diagram.

  • Fill one-third of the shallow dish with warm (above 45 °C) water.

  • Observe the solid’s behavior. Allow yourself some time to complete this task.

:small_red_triangle_down: Additional Suggestions

Sublimation is the process through which a solid becomes vaporized. Deposition is the inverse process — the production of a solid straight from a vapour. The heat generated by the water bath transforms the solid air freshener into a liquid. The chilly beaker forces the vaporized air freshener to revert to its solid state.

It is possible to employ different sublime materials, such as iodine, naphthalene, or dry ice (carbon dioxide).

No. Suggestions
Suggestion - 1 If iodine is utilized (HARMFUL, DANGEROUS TO THE ENVIRONMENT), just a few crystals should be used and the activity should be conducted in a fume closet - see CLEAPSS Hazcard HC054.
Suggestion - 2 If naphthalene is utilized (DANGEROUS TO THE ENVIRONMENT), the activity should be conducted in a fume cabinet. To sublime naphthalene mothballs, they must be heated to about 70 °C - see CLEAPSS Hazard Card HC046b.

At -78.5°C and higher, dry ice sublimes. Tongs or heated gloves are recommended for handling. While you cannot observe this solid re-form, it is excellent for monitoring the transition from solid to gas — see CLEAPSS Hazcard HC020a.


Utilize a colored air freshener if feasible and take note of the white substance that collects on the cold beaker. The dye does not sublime because it is not a component of the compound that does. Vapour deposition is a critical industrial separation and purification method.

:eight_pointed_black_star: Sublime in comparison to Sublimate

At first look, it may appear as though the question of whether sublime and sublimate are connected is a simple one to answer, since they appear to originate from the same source. However, the most prevalent meanings in which each of these terms is employed now are enough diverse to warrant caution. The two terms are connected and, in some ways, synonymous.

Both terms mean “to induce to transition straight from the solid to the vapor state and back to the solid form,” however this is not frequently used outside of the chemistry community. Sublime was originally employed as a verb with the aforementioned meaning, but after a century or two of such use, it acquired the adjectival function in which it is frequently used today.

Sublimate has had several definitions as a verb (including “to elevate to a position of honor” and “to endow with a more elevated character”) before settling on its current definition, (An instinctive drive or impulse) from an unattractive form to one more socially or culturally acceptable.

:eight_pointed_black_star: How to Calculate Sublimation Heat

Sublimation is a rare process in which a substance transitions straight from the solid to the gas phase without first creating a liquid. This is referred to as an endothermic reaction because the chemical absorbs heat from its environment.

Scientists may determine the amount of heat required for this transition and then represent the result as “sublimation heat,” which is often expressed in joules of heat per gram of substance, J/g, or occasionally in joules per mole of substance, J/mol.

:small_red_triangle_down: Configure your calorimeter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Subtract the end water temperature from the beginning water temperature to determine the temperature change, deltaT, of the water. Thus, if the water temperature in the calorimeter decreased from 55.0 to 22.6 degrees Celsius, deltaT = 22.6 - 55.0 = -32.4 degrees Celsius.

Calculate the amount of heat lost by water, Q, using the equation Q = m * c * deltaT, where m is the mass of water and c is the specific heat capacity of water, which is 4.184 joules per gram degree Celsius. Keep in mind that 1 milliliter of water weighs about 1 gram.

Q = 200 * -32.4 * 4.184 = -27,100 joules of heat if the calorimeter is filled with 200 mL of water, which weighs 200 g. The negative sign preceding the figure indicates that the water absorbed the heat. The heat received by the sublimed material will be equivalent in amount to the heat lost by the water but will have the opposite sign.

Calculate the material’s heat of sublimation by dividing the heat absorbed by the substance in step 2 by the mass of the substance in grams. Suppose 47.5 g of material is placed in the calorimeter, and the heat of sublimation is calculated as 27,100 / 47.5 = 571 J/g of material.

:eight_pointed_black_star: Solid to Gas for Children

Solid to Gas for Children

Sublimation is the term used to describe the process of converting a solid to a gas. It reverses the flow of intuitive energy, and the solid undergoes a direct transformation into gas without going through the fluid phase. At normal atmospheric pressure, only certain chemicals, such as solid carbon dioxide, may pass through the process.

Without being a liquid, it transitions from the solid to the gaseous state. Sublimation of the majority of objects requires a low air pressure. Iodine may be transformed straight from solid to gas without melting at extremely high temperatures.

:small_red_triangle_down: Quick Facts:

  • The term “sublimation” is most frequently used to refer to the process through which snow and ice convert to water vapor.

  • It’s not always possible to witness the process in action, particularly with the ice.

  • Sublimation is a form of phase transition that occurs when a material changes state.

  • Sublimation occurs when the substance absorbs energy from its environment at such a rapid rate that it never melts.

  • Freezer burns occur as a result of ice being sublimated into water vapor.

  • Rats bane may also sublimate from the solid state to the gaseous state.

  • It is this mechanism that is primarily responsible for the thinning of glaciers.

  • Additionally, this procedure is used to purify substances, most notably organic molecules.

  • With the use of iodine sublimation, latent fingerprints on paper can be exposed.

  • Dry ice is used to generate fog effects due to its rapid sublimation.

:eight_pointed_black_star: Sublimation’s Applications

Inkjet printers have been phased out in favor of dye-sublimation printers. The printouts are immediately usable as they depart the printer, as the prints dry more quickly. These printers are simple to maintain and have few moving components. There is also widespread application in the textile sector, where dye sublimation is used to print synthetic textiles such as polyester.

This approach is also advantageous for producing T-shirts, flags, and banners. The benefit is that the colors printed are incredibly vivid due to the dye’s adhesion to the synthetic fibers.

With today’s technology, several ornamental works, washable, scratch-resistant pictures are possible. At a lower cost, a range of objects such as pens, bags, and coffee mugs may be printed using dye sublimation. It is environmentally friendly and safe, and produces no waste throughout the process.

Sublimation has practical uses in forensic sciences. Sublimation is the purification procedure used by chemists to purify volatile substances. Sublimation is widely used in the frozen food sector, where it is referred to as freeze-drying.

When the surrounding pressure is reduced, frozen water in the substance sublimates from the solid phase to the gas phase. Because no heat is used in the process of water removal, it is distinct from evaporation.

Due to the low temperatures used, a high-quality product is created. Additionally, the product’s structure is preserved, resulting in a good quality following rehydration.


To keep food fresh for a long length of time, this method is utilized. When astronauts travel to outer space, space agencies such as NASA and ISRO use this approach to supply high-quality meals.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

People asked many questions about Sublimation. We discussed some of them below:

:one: What do you mean by sublimation?

Sublimation is comprised of the processes of freezing, melting, and evaporation. It is a modification of the condition of matter. Sublimation occurs when a material changes from a solid to a gas without ever entering the liquid phase. For instance, dry ice and concentrated CO2.

:two: What is the process of sublimation?

Sublimation is a type of phase transition, or change in the state of matter, that includes melting, freezing, and evaporation. Sublimation is the process by which a material changes from a solid to a gas without ever passing through the liquid phase. Dry ice, or extremely dense CO2, is a frequent example of sublimation.

:three: How is sublimation used in everyday life?

The air fresheners used in the bathrooms. The powerful perfume sublimates and releases the pleasant odor in the bathroom after a period of time. Mothballs made of naphthalene are used to drive moths and other pests away from homes.

:four: What can be sublimated?

It is possible for water, a wide range of materials, iodine, and dry ice to sublimate poison at constant pressure and temperature. Other materials can occasionally be made to sublimate by applying low pressure.

:five: What is the sublimation separation technique?

In the process of sublimation, many substances are separated, and among them is sublime. Numerous liquids transition directly from solid to vapour upon heating, without passing through the liquid state. Sublimation is the term used to describe this phenomenon.

:six: Is heat required for sublimation?

The sublimation molar heat (or enthalpy) is the amount of energy required to turn a solid mole into a gas under constant pressure (without going through the liquid phase).

:seven: What is the sublimation separation technique?

Sublimation is the process by which a mixture of solids, such as sublime, is isolated. Numerous liquids undergo an instantaneous transformation from solid to vapour phase upon heating, without passing through the liquid stage. This is called sublimation.

:eight: Is sugar a sublimate substance?

When sugar is heated, it melts and turns to a liquid condition. As a result, it is not exquisite. When heated, dry ice converts straight to vapour without passing through the liquid stage. As a result, it sublimates.

:nine: What is not an awe-inspiring substance?

Sublimation is the process by which a solid material transitions straight to gas without going through the liquid phase. Camphor, naphthalene, and ammonium chloride are all magnificent substances. Alum is not a divine substance.

:keycap_ten: Does Sulphur have an exquisite quality?

Sulfur is a critical element in the developed world. Sublimated sulfur is one such type. Sublimed sulfur is a term that refers to sulfuric gas that has passed through its liquid phase and is now in a gaseous state. Sulfur that has been liquefied is frequently utilized in powder form.

:closed_book: Conclusion:

Sublimation is the process through which solids become gaseous. During this phase transition, matter does not traverse a liquid phase; rather, the solid transforms instantly into a gas. Due to the sublimation process, these printers are significantly more easy and mess-free to operate than ink printers. Thus, among the most visible instances of gas to solid conversion are specialist printers.

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