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Heterogeneous Mixture in Chemistry

A heterogeneous mixture has a non-uniform composition. The composition of the sample varies in a heterogeneous mixture. These mixtures have at least two distinct phases with various characteristics. A sample of a heterogeneous mixture shows the individual components.

A phase is any fraction of a sample with consistent composition and properties. A pure substance or a homogeneous mixture, by definition, consists of a single phase. A heterogeneous mixture in chemistry is one that contains two or more phases. When oil and water are mixed together, they do not mix evenly and instead separate into two distinct layers. Each layer is referred to as a phase.

What is a heterogeneous mixture?


A heterogeneous mixture is a mixture with a non-uniform composition, where the composition varies from one region to another. Heterogeneous mixtures will contain substances that will not blend and can be individually detected and separated.

A heterogeneous mixture is one that does not have a uniform composition. The composition varies from region to region, with at least two phases that stay distinct from one another and have clearly defined characteristics.

Examples of a heterogeneous mixture

  • A mixture of water with oil
  • Soil
  • Smog
  • Vegetable soup
  • Salt and pepper
  • Concrete
  • Soda
  • Sugar and sand
  • Rice and beans
  • Cookies with sweet and butter
  • Vinegar and oil
  • Medicines
  • Chocolate chip cookies

Properties of a heterogeneous mixture

Given below are some properties or characteristics of mixtures that are heterogeneous

  1. Non-uniform composition
  2. Composition varies from one region to another
  3. A phase is any part of a sample that has a uniform composition and properties. A phase is a separate layer in a heterogeneous mixture, two phases can be seen in a heterogeneous mixture. The different phases mix together but are physically separate.
  4. A heterogeneous substance can be judged by just seeing it.
  5. It’s usually possible to separate components of a heterogeneous mixture.
  6. Samples taken from different parts of the mixture might have a different composition.
  7. The size of the particles here is in the range of one nanometer to one micrometre.
  8. They demonstrate the Tyndall impact.

Types of

There are two types of heterogeneous mixtures, are

  1. Suspensions and
  2. Colloids.


A suspension is a heterogeneous mixture in which the solid particles do not dissolve in the liquid but spread throughout it. The particles in a suspension are far larger than those of a solution, for example, if we mix sand in a glass of water then the particle size of sand is 1000 times greater than that of the solution.

The dispersed particles can be separated from the dispersion medium by filtering, as the particles of a suspension do not pass through a filter paper. The particles of a suspension can be seen easily, which settle down after some time. A beam of light passing through the suspension gets scattered as the particle size is large.

Examples of suspension are:
  • Slaked lime for whitewashing
  • a mixture of chalk and water
  • muddy water
  • Flour in water
  • Milk of magnesia.


A Colloid is a heterogeneous mixture in which the particle size is intermediate between solution and suspension. The particles are spread evenly throughout the dispersion medium, which can be a solid, liquid, or gas, but as the particle size is smaller than suspension it does not settle down upon standing. It cannot be separated by filtration. A colloid is easily visible to the naked eye. Colloids show the Tyndall effect, which is the scattering of light (light beam) through a colloidal solution.

Another characteristic of a colloidal solution can be seen when the colloids are looked at through a light microscope. Because colloidal particles move at a rapid and unpredictable rate, they scintillate, reflecting short flashes of light. Collisions between microscopic colloidal particles and molecules in the dispersion medium produce these phenomena, known as Brownian motion.

Frequently Aske Questions

Is coffee a homogenous mixture?

The coffee drink is a homogeneous mixture. This is due to the fact that the drink is a water-based solution of various substances. The coffee powder and sugar mixture is uniform across the cup, resulting in a homogeneous mixture.

What type of mixture is blood?

Blood is a mixture of solids and liquids. It is composed of multiple components that appear to be homogeneous to our eyes without magnification. Using a microscope, you can view the distribution of platelets, plasma, and red blood cells. Because the components can be distributed, the blood becomes heterogeneous.

What are liquid mixtures?

Liquid mixes are ones in which the solute and the solvent are both liquids. Oil in water is an example of this type of mixture. This is a heterogeneous mixture in which the oil phase is less dense than the water phase, causing the oil to float on top of the water.

Related Articles

  1. Is Milk A Pure Substance or a Mixture?
  2. Is air a pure substance or a mixture?

Mixture in chemistry quiz with answers

Select the correct option out of multiple options given below in the question

1. Which of the following statements is incorrect in context to mixtures?
2. What is the type of mixture in which the elements are evenly distributed throughout?
3. We can separate. all mixtures by filtration
4. Physical properties of a mixture
5. Which of the following is an example of a heterogeneous mixture
6. Which of the following is not a mixture
7. Water is homogeneous substance


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