Mixture vs. Colloids

Difference Between Mixture And Colloids

A mixture in which the particles of the different components cannot be distinguished visually is called a homogeneous mixture. An example is a solution of sugar in water. Generally, solutions and colloids are homogeneous mixtures.

A mixture in which the particles of the components can be distinguished by visual observation is called a heterogeneous mixture. An example is a coarse mixture of sugar and sand. Generally, suspensions are heterogeneous mixtures.

Colloid is a mixture homogeneous in nature have one of its substances as finely dispersed. The term also may be used to refer to the dispersed particles themselves. Colloids occur widely in nature; fogs are colloids, and protoplasm itself is a complex colloidal system. Many colloids are economically important—for example, foodstuffs such as butter and homogenized milk. Soaps and synthetic detergents form colloidal solutions in water.

What Colloids Are

Early in the 19th century the British chemist Michael Faraday and a few other scientists recognized and studied individual colloidal compounds. However, it was the Scottish chemist Thomas Graham, in 1861, who first applied the term “colloid” (meaning “gluelike”) to an entire class of materials (solutions of some vegetable gums). He distinguished the behavior of these substances from solutions of what he called “crystalloids.”




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