# Saturated Vapor and Superheated Vapor

Once boiling starts, the temperature stops rising until the liquid is completely vaporized. That is, the temperature will remain constant during the entire phase-change process if the pressure is held constant. This can easily be verified by placing a thermometer into boiling pure water on top of a stove. At sea level (P  1 atm), the thermometer will always read 100°C if the pan is uncovered or covered with a light lid. During a boiling process, the only change we will observe is a large increase in the volume and a steady decline in the liquid level as a result of more liquid turning to vapor.
Midway about the vaporization line (state 3, Fig. 3–8), the cylinder contains equal amounts of liquid and vapor. As we continue transferring heat, the vaporization process continues until the last drop of liquid is vaporized (state 4, Fig. 3–9). At this point, the entire cylinder is filled with vapor that is on the borderline of the liquid phase. Any heat loss from this vapor will cause some of the vapor to condense (phase change from vapor to liquid). A vapor that is about to condense is called a saturated vapor. Therefore, state 4 is a saturated vapor state. A substance at states between 2 and 4 is referred to as a saturated liquid–vapor mixture since the liquid and vapor phases coexist in equilibrium at these states.
Once the phase-change process is completed, we are back to a single phase region again (this time vapor), and further transfer of heat results in an increase in both the temperature and the specific volume (Fig. 3–10). At state 5, the temperature of the vapor is, let us say, 300°C; and if we transfer some heat from the vapor, the temperature may drop somewhat but no condensation will take place as long as the temperature remains above 100°C (for P = 1 atm). A vapor that is not about to condense (i.e., not a saturated vapor) is called a superheated vapor. Therefore, water at state 5 is a superheated vapor. This constant-pressure phase-change process is illustrated on a T-v diagram in Fig. 3–11.
If the entire process described here is reversed by cooling the water while maintaining the pressure at the same value, the water will go back to state 1, retracing the same path, and in so doing, the amount of heat released willexactly match the amount of heat added during the heating process. In our daily life, water implies liquid water and steam implies water vapor. In thermodynamics, however, both water and steam usually mean only one thing: H2O.

Reference: Thermodynamics – An Engineering Approach
5th Edition
by: Yunus A. Cengel and Michale A. Boles