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A mixture is a material that is made up of two more chemical compounds or substances that do not combine together chemically. It is actually the physical combination of two or more substances that are able to retain their identities while they are mixed in form of solutions, suspensions, or colloids. You can separate them by physical methods. In any mixture, the various components do not form through any kind of chemical change. Therefore, the components’ individual properties remain intact.

What is a Mixture?

Mixtures are substances that are made up of two or more different types of substances. Physical means can be used to separate them. A solution of salt and water, a combination of sugar and water, various gases, air, and so on are examples. The different components of any combination do not unite through any chemical changes. As a result, the components retain their distinct characteristics.

In addition, unlike in a compound, the components in a mixture do not combine chemically to produce new material. Instead, they just mix and maintain their original characteristics. Because the components are not in set quantities, the lemonade shown above is a combination. It might be made with more or less lemon juice, or with more or less sugar, and still be called lemonade.

What is a Mixture?


Properties of Mixtures 

  • All the components or substances in a mixture retain their original physical properties.
  • The mixture can be separated into its components physically by using some techniques
  • The components in a mixture may or may not be in a fixed proportion and can vary in quantity.

Examples of Mixtures

  • Smog is a mixture of Smoke and Fog.
  • Cement is a mixture of Sand, Water and Gravel.
  • Sea Water is a mixture of Water and Salt.
  • Soil is a mixture of Minerals, Air, Organic materials, Water, and Living Organisms.
  • Blood is a mixture of Plasma, White Blood Cells, Red Blood Cells, and Platelets.
  • Gasoline is a mixture of Hydrocarbons, Petroleum, and Fuel Additives.
  • Brass is an Alloy and is a mixture of metals like Zinc and Copper.
  • Nichrome is also an Alloy and is a mixture of metals like Chromium, Iron, and Nickel.
  • Bleach is a mixture of Caustic Soda, Chlorine, and Water.

Types of Mixtures

Mixtures can be broadly classified into two main categories. These are

  1. Homogeneous Mixtures
  2. Heterogeneous Mixtures
Types of Mixtures


What is a Homogeneous Mixture?

Homo means sane. The mixtures in which the components have a uniform distribution throughout the mixture are known as homogeneous mixtures. For example, salt and water is homogeneous mixture as the taste of the water will be the same if you take a sip from any portion of water. This shows that salt is uniformly distributed in the mixture.

e.g. Salt and water, Sugar and water, Alcohol and water, etc.

Properties of Homogeneous Mixtures

  • These have a uniform distribution of components throughout the mixture.
  • The centrifugal force cannot be used to separate the components.
  • Homogeneous mixtures do not exhibit the Tyndall effect i.e. the scattering of light by the particles in the medium when a light beam is an incident on the mixture. The path of light becomes visible due to the scattering of the light beam.
  • The particle size is <1nm.
  • All the solutions are homogeneous mixtures.

Examples of Homogeneous Mixture

  • Air,
  • Any type of soft drink,
  • Cooking Gas,
  • Coffee,
  • Cement,
  • Vinegar, etc.

What is a Heterogeneous Mixture?

Hetero means different. The mixtures in which the components do not have a uniform distribution throughout the mixture which means in which the components are unevenly distributed are said to be heterogeneous mixtures. For example, sand and water is an example of the heterogeneous mixture as sand does not distribute uniformly in water. e.g. Sand and water, Sugar and salt, Ice in water, etc.

Properties of Heterogeneous Mixtures

  • The components of heterogeneous mixture do not uniform distribute throughout the mixture
  • You can draw a boundary between the components by just looking at the mixture.
  • The particle size ranges between 1nm to 1 μm.
  • They can exhibit the Tyndall effect.

Examples of Heterogeneous Mixture

  • Iron Ore,
  • Granite,
  • Milk and Cereal,
  • Sugar and Salt,
  • Water and Oil,
  • Rice and Beans,
  • Water and Sand, etc.

Difference Between Mixture and Compound

The compounds and mixtures described are as follows:

  • When two or more elements are combined together are called Compounds.

For example, Water, Salt, etc.

  • When two or more substances are mixed together physically are called Mixture.

For example, Air, Smog etc.

Read the key differences between mixtures and compounds in a tabulated representation here.

FAQs on Mixtures

Question 1: What do you mean by homogeneous mixtures?


Homogeneous mixtures are those mixtures in which the substances are uniformly distributed throughout the mixture. Example: Sugar and water, salt and water, etc.

Question 2: What are heterogeneous mixtures?


Heterogeneous mixtures are those mixtures in which there is no uniform distribution of substances. All the substances are unevenly distributed in the mixture. Concentration of  a substance may be high or low at certain points in the mixture. Example: Sand and water, Salt and sand, etc.

Question 3: State any two differences between homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures.


The following are the differences between homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures:

Substances are uniformly distributed throughout the mixture.Substances are unevenly distributed throughout the mixture.
They do not exhibit Tyndall effect.They exhibit Tyndall effect only in case of colloids.

Question 4: Explain the Tyndall effect.


Tyndall Effect refers to the scattering of light by the particles of a medium when a beam of light is incident on it. As a result of scattering the path of light becomes visible.

Question 5: What is the particle size for solutions, colloids, and suspensions?


The particle size for solutions, colloids and suspensions is as follows:

  • Solutions: <1 nm
  • Colloids: 1 nm to 1 μm
  • Suspensions: >1 μm

Question 6: What is Brownian Motion?


Brownian Motion is the random movement of the particles suspended in a suspension. It is the continuous and random zig-zag movement of the particles in the medium.

Question 7: What is the correct definition of a pure substance?


Pure substance is the one which is composed of particles of only one element or compound. Example: Sugar, Salt, etc.

Question 8: Name the components of the following mixtures:

  • Aqua Regia
  • Brass
  • Water Gas
  • Bronze
  • Baking Soda


  • Aqua Regia is a mixture of concentrated hydrochloric acid and concentrated nitric acid.
  • Brass is a mixture of mixture of metals like Zinc and Copper.
  • Water Gas is a mixture of Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen.
  • Bronze is a mixture of Copper and Tin.
  • Baking Soda is a mixture of Carbon, Sodium, Hydrogen and Oxygen molecules.

Question 9: What happens when Sulphur is added to Carbon Disulphide? 


A mixture of sulphur and carbon disulphide is a heterogeneous colloid and shows the Tyndall effect. 

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Last Updated : 23 Sep, 2022
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