Meaning of homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures

What are homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures:

Homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures are combinations of 2 or more elements or substances and are the 2 types in which mixtures are generally classified.

In nature, homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures are indispensable for life on planet Earth. This is the case of air, a homogeneous mixture, and blood, a heterogeneous mixture.

The compounds or elements of both mixtures can occur in any state of matter, the most general being those found in the solid, liquid or gaseous state.

In addition, both homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures can present chemical reactions, which does not constitute an indication if it belongs to one or the other.

Homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures

Another characteristic shared by both mixtures is that they can be physical or chemical mixtures.

Physical mixtures are those in which there is a proximity of the elements, while in chemical mixtures there is a union between their components.

Homogeneous physical and chemical mixtures

Physical homogeneous mixtures can be those that refer to the ethnic diversity of a population, for example, where cultural boundaries are not distinguished.

Homogeneous mixtures referred to as chemical solutions, on the other hand, present a bond between solute and solvent, such as, for example, the mixture of water and salt.

See also Chemical solution.

Heterogeneous physical and chemical mixtures

Physical heterogeneous mixtures are combinations of elements that are distinguished from one another and that are close but not united as, for example, the mixture of nuts or cereals.

In heterogeneous chemical mixtures, its components can also be differentiated, either with the naked eye or under the microscope, and the proximity of these causes chemical reactions such as red tides or sediments in the urine.

Difference between homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures

The main difference between homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures is the ability in which the elements can be differentiated from each other.

In homogeneous mixtures the elements are united in such a way that they are not distinguishable, whereas in heterogeneous mixtures, they are observable.

Another way to differentiate homogeneous mixtures from heterogeneous mixtures is in the distinction in the methods of separating the mixtures.

In homogeneous mixtures, the main methods for separating their elements are:

  • Extraction: by polarity,
  • Chromatography: interaction of solutes in different phases,
  • Crystallization: use of differences in temperature, pressure and solubility,
  • Evaporation: separation using the change from liquid to gaseous state,
  • Distillation: manipulating the different boiling points.

In heterogeneous mixtures, the main methods of separating their elements are:

  • Filtration: solids from liquids,
  • Sifting: silt sand,
  • Centrifugation: through centrifugal force,
  • Imantation: separation of metals from solids or liquids,
  • Decantation: division of sediments by the force of gravity.
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