Boiling point

temperature at which a substance changes from solid into vapor

The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which the substance boils, or enters a state of rapid evaporation. For pure water this is 100° Celsius or 212° Fahrenheit. This is measured at one atmosphere, that is, the air pressure at sea level

A boiling lake in Dominica

Boiling points can be changed in several ways. The addition of solutes or other substances usually changes the boiling point. Additionally, changing the pressure on a liquid changes its boiling point.

The boiling point of a liquid depends on the pressure of the surrounding air. An increase in air pressure increases the boiling point; a decrease decreases the boiling point. In the low pressure environment at the top of Mt Everest for example, water boils at only 69 °C. (156.2 °F). It can also be defined in terms of vapour pressure as the temperature at which vapour pressure of liquid becomes equal to atmospheric pressure

Sugar, salt or other non-volatile solutes in water will usually make the boiling point higher. Alcohol, in contrast, is a volatile chemical that lowers the boiling point of water. Even a large amount dissolved in the water will usually make only small changes in the boiling point.