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As we all know water is a great solvent in it's liquid form relative to other substances. I wonder however how it performs as a gas relative to other stuff.

Does anyone know how well steam carries compounds with it compared to other gases at the same temperature and pressure?

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    $\begingroup$ Arguably, no gas is a good solvent. $\endgroup$ Sep 23 '20 at 20:26
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    $\begingroup$ Or they are all perfect, depending on what on Earth you mean! $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Sep 23 '20 at 20:34
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    $\begingroup$ Supercritical water dissolves for a lot of things you usually think are perfectly insoluble, like many inorganic solids. $\endgroup$
    – Karl
    Sep 23 '20 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ Are all gases equal in their ability to carry with them lower volatility matter at a given temperature? $\endgroup$
    – Hans
    Sep 24 '20 at 19:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Hans, think about gas chromatography, if you are familiar with it. Does the retention time change if you change gases, say, nitrogen to helium or hydrogen? No, it does not. $\endgroup$
    – M. Farooq
    Sep 24 '20 at 20:09
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It depends on how a solvent is defined. Regardless of semantics, supercritical steam 217.75 atm, 373.946 °C is a very good solvent. It will dissolve fats, hydrocarbons or plastics. It also becomes very corrosive to metals.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Thing is, you're talking about liquid-like supercritical H2O, which I wouldn't call steam. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Sep 23 '20 at 22:37
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    $\begingroup$ Supercritical "fluid" is neither a typical gas nor liquid. It does not matter whether you accept the term supercritical steam or not, I would rather worry if the scientific community accepts it or not. "Supercritical steam" brings up at least 9700 results in Google Scholar. $\endgroup$
    – M. Farooq
    Sep 24 '20 at 0:21
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps read my comment again and check out on supercritical fluids, before responding... $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Sep 24 '20 at 0:54
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    $\begingroup$ Mithoron, Please bring some positivity in your tone. Instead of criticizing answers mainly on semantics or trivial issues and downvoting almost every other question, why don't you write a separate answer if you have a better explanation. Perhaps in a better way, instead of cursing the darkness, why not light a lamp? SE Chem is a volunteering Q&A site. Make this a productive place. BTW, what is your area of specialization? $\endgroup$
    – M. Farooq
    Sep 24 '20 at 1:15

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