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Types of Mixtures

Matter surrounding us is broadly divided into three phases-solids, liquids and gases. Further each one of the above can be classified defining their purity as elements, compounds and mixtures.

Elements are single entities with one set of properties, compounds are a combination of more than one element and displaying characteristic properties of their own and mixtures are either combination of elements or elements with compounds or compounds with compounds.

Mixtures display properties of the contents that form the mixture and not have their own characteristic property. All the three phases of matter can have these three types viz. elements, compounds and mixtures.Solution is the term used to describe a mixture of two or more substances. Generally one of the components is in large quantity and the others are in small quantities. The large quantity part of the substance is called the solvent in which the smaller quantities called solutes are mixed which is termed as dissolution. The dissolution may be complete or partial.


Homogeneous Solution

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Homogeneous solution can be defined as that mixture which is formed by the combination of a solute in solvent, which cannot be seen as separate entities either by naked eye or through microscope or ultra microscope. 

A homogeneous solution cannot be separated by physical separation, simple filtration or even by ultra filtration.

Homogeneous Mixture Examples

Air around us is the most common example of homogeneous mixture. Air is composed of many individual elements like oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, ozone and noble gases, compound gases like carbon di oxide, nitrogen oxides, oxides of sulfur and water vapor. 

Soluble salts in the saturation limits are homogeneous mixture examples. In solid phase alloys can be considered as homogeneous mixture examples.

Heterogeneous Solution

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Heterogeneous solution is the one in which the solute and solvent particles are seen either by naked eye or by microscope and can be separated by the normal filtration or ultra filtration.

Heterogeneous solutions are not transparent and they are either translucent or sometimes opaque.

Is Salt Water a Heterogeneous Mixture?

Salt water is a homogeneous mixture. Salt dissolves completely in water and dissociates in to sodium and chloride ions. The salt solution is clear and transparent and salt cannot be separated from water by filtration. 

Salt can be separated only by evaporation of water and water can be collected by condensing the steam generated.

Homogeneous Vs Heterogeneous

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The Below table Shown the difference Between Homogeneous Vs Hetrogeneous:

Homogeneous solution Heterogeneous solution
Clear solution. Transparent and will not settle Translucent or opaque solution may settle in some cases
Solutes and solvent cannot be separated by filtration Can be separated by filtration, or semipermeable membrane
Light passes through the solution without any obstruction Light is blocked or refracted when passed through the solution
Individual components can be separated only by fractional crystallization or distillation Individual components can be separated by physical methods or by filtration
Salt water, air, alloys are examples of homogeneous solutions Smoke, milk, muddy water are examples of heterogeneous solutions

Examples of Solution Mixtures

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Mixtures are a combination of two or more pure substance in which each substance retains its own identity. The components of a mixture are physically mixed but are not chemically combined. We can make a mixture are physically mixed but are nor chemically combined. We can make a mixture of salt and ordinary sand, and it will still be possible to distinguish the colorless salt crystals from the larger light brown sand particles.
  1. Liquid mixtures like petroleum is an example of homogeneous mixture. In solid phase alloys like brass, bronze, alnico, duralumin can be considered as homogeneous mixture examples.
  2. The examples of heterogeneous mixtures are smoke, auto exhaust, clouds, muddy water blood and milk.
Solution Mixtures
  • Mixtures play an important role in chemistry. The solid mixtures are alloys like brass, bronze and Invar, which are mixtures in different proportions of various metals.
  • Precious stones like Topaz, opal, garnet and amethyst are mixtures of silicon di oxide and metals. Silicon carbide, abrasive stones, rocks are also metals and their compounds in silica.
  • The liquid homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures are many in chemistry. The petroleum is a mixture of variety of hydrocarbons.Various pharmaceutical compositions are mixtures of compounds.
  • Blood is a colloidal solution and natural gas, LPG, etc are the examples of mixtures in chemistry.
More topics in Types of Mixtures
List of Electrolytes Concentration of a Solution
Calculating Molarity Molality
Normality Mole Fraction
Solubility Rules Properties of a Mixture
Distillation Mixtures and Compounds
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