Properties of Mixtures

A mixture is basically a substance that contains two or more compounds or elements. These elements or compounds may be set in just any proportion and are such that these can be segregated by using easy mechanical technique.
Here are some examples of mixtures:

  • Alloys: Two or more metals such as steel, brass and bronze are brought together to build alloys.
  • Solids: Mixture is also formed when two solids such as salt and gravel are mixed together.
  • Gunpowder: It is a mixture of potassium nitrate, sulphur and coal.
  • Air: It is a mixture of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen water vapour and certain other substances.

There are basically two types of mixtures – Homogeneous and Heterogeneous. Let us learn about these in detail:

  1. Homogeneous
    A mixture can either be homogeneous or heterogeneous. A homogeneous mixture is one that has a consistent composition all through its mass without any visible boundaries amid the different constituents. For instance, the mixture of salt and water is a homogeneous mixture. Every portion of it has the same amount of salt and water without any visible boundaries. Similarly, air is also a homogeneous mixture of different gases and so are the mixtures of liquids such as milk and water or alcohol and water.
  2. Heterogeneous
    Heterogeneous mixture does not have a uniform composition all through its mass. The different constituents in this mixture are demarcated by sharp boundaries that can be seen if looked at carefully. One example of a heterogeneous mixture can be salt and sand. Oil and water mixture can also be said to be heterogeneous as oil does not get dissolved in water. It rather floats on it.
  3. Let us now have a look at the properties of mixtures:
  • Composition and Energy
    The composition of both homogeneous and heterogeneous mixture is not fixed. Besides, when it comes to energy, it is neither absorbed nor is it given out. There is no change in the energy.
  • Chemical Reaction
    No chemical reaction takes place when a mixture is formed.
  • The Process of Separation
    Various separation techniques such as evaporation, magnetic effect, sublimation and filtration are used to separate the elements of a mixture.
  • Melting and Boiling Point
    There is no specific boiling point or melting point when it comes to a mixture.

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