Colloid Meaning

What is Colloid:

Mixtures of substances found between solutions and suspensions and whose particles have a size between 10 and 100 nanometers are called colloid.

The word colloid derives from the Greek kolas which means "stick".

For this reason, when a colloid is referred to, it is because it is talking about a set of particles that are characterized by the ease they have to join and how difficult it is to separate them.

Colloids are also given other names such as colloidal solution, colloidal dispersion, or colloidal substance.

Characteristics of colloids

Colloids are characterized by being generally made up of microscopic particles that are difficult to see with the naked eye, however, sometimes they can also be made up of macroscopic particles that are easier to observe.

Colloids are mainly characterized by being the result of a mixture that is carried out in two phases: the dispersed phase and the dispersing or dispersing phase.

These resulting mixtures or substances, especially if they are fluid, are not easily separated, so specialists sometimes need to use coagulation methods.

Phases of colloids

Dispersed phase: this phase is made up of those particles, smaller or larger, that are suspended in a liquid, which can act independently or in conjunction with other particles.

For example, they can be solid elements that can be observed through a microscope.

Dispersing or dispersing phase: it is a substance that contains distributed colloidal particles. Some examples of these colloids are the homogeneous mixtures from which they result: gel, aerosols, shaving foam, arabic gum, among others.

However, it can also be particles that can be seen without the need for specialized equipment. For example, suspended dust can be seen, through light, floating in the air.

Fog and mist are also a type of colloid that, in its dispersing phase, is in a soluble gas state, but in the dispersed phase it is in a liquid state.

Examples of colloids

Colloids can take on different physical and chemical states depending on the phase they are in.

For example, emulsions are liquids composed of a set of colloid particles in their dispersing phase. However, in its dispersed phase it remains as a liquid substance and milk or mayonnaise can be obtained.

Another example, liquid aerosols in the dispersant phase is a gaseous substance, but in its dispersed phase it becomes liquid and can transform into clouds or mist.

The foams in a dispersing phase have a liquid composition, but in the dispersed phase they transform into gas and substances such as foam soap or whipped cream, among others, are generated.

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