What is a mixture? Properties, Examples and Types of Mixtures

You most likely run over one or different types of a mixture in your everyday life. The air that you inhale is the commonest form of a mixture. Did you realize that? Today, we will look into the impure substances or mixtures, as they are normally called. 

What is a Mixture

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.

Examples of Mixtures

  • Crude oil: A mixture of organic compounds (mainly hydrocarbons)

  • Seawater: A mixture of various salt and water.

  • Air: a mixture of various gases like oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, neon, etc.

  • Ink: A mixture of coloured dyes.

  • Gunpowder: A mixture of sulfur, potassium nitrate and carbon.

Properties of Mixtures

The constituents of a mixture are not present in a fixed ratio. The various characteristics of mixtures are discussed below.  

  • There is no chemical force acting between the two or more substances that are mixed, but they still exist together.

  • They can either be heterogeneous or homogeneous in nature.

  • The proportions of the substances vary in an indefinite manner.

  • The properties of the mixture depending upon the individual components.

  • The constituents of the mixture can be separated by physical methods.

  • Boiling point and the melting point of the mixture depends upon the characteristic of the constituents.

  • During the formation of a mixture, there is no change in energy.

  • All the states of matter (solid, liquid, gases) can combine to form mixtures.

Types of Mixtures

There are two main types of mixtures: homogeneous mixtures and heterogeneous mixtures. The types of mixtures are discussed below.

1) Homogeneous mixtures: A mixture which has uniform composition and properties throughout its mass is called a homogeneous mixture. Examples: Sugar solution, salt solution etc.

 Examples of homogeneous mixture are - Alloys, Salt in water.

2) Heterogeneous mixture: A mixture which has different composition and properties in different parts of their mass is called heterogeneous mixture. Examples: Sand mixed with salt, sugar in oil etc.

 Examples of heterogeneous mixture are - Gun powder, Oil in water.

Difference between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Mixture

1. Homogeneous mixture

  • It has a uniform composition

  • It has only one phase

  • It can’t be separated out physically

  • ‘homo’ means the same

  • Example: a mixture of alcohol and water

2. Heterogeneous mixture

  • It has a non-uniform composition

  • There are two or more phases

  • It can be separated out physically

  • ‘hetero’ means different

  • Example: a mixture of sodium chloride and sand