Define Deliquescence in Chemistry

Deliquescence is a captivating process in chemistry where substances absorb moisture from the air until they dissolve. Learn more about this phenomenon and its implications.

Understanding Deliquescence

Deliquescence is a fascinating phenomenon in chemistry that occurs when a substance absorbs moisture from the air until it dissolves in the absorbed water. This process is commonly observed in hygroscopic substances, which have a strong affinity for water molecules. Deliquescence can have important implications in various scientific fields, including environmental science, pharmaceuticals, and materials science.

Mechanism of Deliquescence

When a hygroscopic substance is exposed to humid air, it begins to absorb water vapor from the atmosphere. As the substance takes in moisture, it eventually reaches a point where it becomes saturated and dissolves in the absorbed water. This results in the formation of a liquid solution, which may have different properties than the original solid substance.

Examples of Deliquescence

One common example of deliquescence is the absorption of water by certain salts, such as calcium chloride and magnesium sulfate. These salts have a high affinity for water and readily dissolve in the moisture present in the air. Another example is the deliquescence of certain pharmaceutical compounds, which can affect the stability and shelf-life of medications.

Case Studies

In a study conducted by researchers at a pharmaceutical company, the deliquescence of a particular drug compound was found to significantly reduce its efficacy over time. This discovery led to the development of improved packaging materials and storage conditions to prevent deliquescence and ensure the stability of the medication.

Implications of Deliquescence

Deliquescence can have a range of implications in different industries. In environmental science, deliquescence of certain pollutants can lead to the formation of acidic solutions, which can have detrimental effects on the ecosystem. In materials science, deliquescence can affect the structural integrity of materials, leading to corrosion or degradation.


Deliquescence is a fascinating process in chemistry that plays a significant role in various scientific disciplines. By understanding the mechanism of deliquescence and its implications, researchers can develop strategies to mitigate its effects and optimize the performance of hygroscopic substances.

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