What is A Heterogeneous Mixture? How Is It Different From A Homogeneous Mixture?

What is a mixture?

The combination of one or more than one substances which may or may not be similar in their chemical and physical properties is known as a Mixture. These can be either solids or liquids. These are obtained by the mixing of two chemical substances.

Mixtures are being classified into two types namely homogeneous mixture and the heterogeneous mixture as shown in the below figure. We encounter these two combinations of substances in our daily life such as foods, drinks, air and much more.What is a heterogeneous mixture? How is it different from a homogeneous mixture? Heterogeneous mixture

It is a mixture in which the particle or substances are not evenly spread or distributed as shown in the above figure. This type of mixture can be easily converted to their original shape through chemical processes. Heterogeneous mixtures are also called as suspensions or colloids. The word ‘hetero’ means different.

For example- Mud is a good example for colloids. If you mix some mud with water and keep it for few days, you can see that mud gets settled in the bottom of the container. Hence this shows that mud and water form a heterogeneous mixture. This kind of suspensions or colloids are visible to the naked eye.

Homogeneous mixture

As the word ‘Homo’ means same, homogeneous mixture are those substances in which the particles are uniformly distributed within the container. The size and shape of every particle remains same in this case. Homogeneous mixture are also known as solutions.

A good example for this kind of mixture is steel. In steel, the iron and carbon are evenly distributed which makes it a homogeneous mixture. These are not visible to the naked eye.

Differences between Homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures

Homogeneous mixture Heterogeneous mixture
These are called as solutions These are called as suspensions/colloids
Substances are Uniformly distributed These substances are Unevenly distributed
These are not visible to the naked eye, but visible through the microscope These are easily visible to the naked eye and also through microscope
The particles appear smaller in size The particles are either smaller or larger in size
These are pure substances These are not pure substances
They represent same physical properties They do not possess same physical properties
Examples include milk, gasoline, sugar solution, corn oil, fog etc Examples are mixture of mud & water, beach sand, vinegar, air cloud  etc

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