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What are the three types of mixtures?

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Quick Answer

The three general types of mixtures in chemistry are solutions, suspensions and colloids. All mixtures contain at least two different substances and can be liquids, gases or solids.

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Solutions are the simplest mixture, consisting of two substances that interact and have reasonably small particle sizes. A solution has a solvent and at least one solute, depending on how many substances are being mixed together. If any of the substances changes phase while making the solution, it is considered a solute. If there are no phase change between two or more substances, the substance that there is the most of is considered the solvent, while all the rest are solutes.

A suspension is a mixture where components must be forced to distribute evenly. In time, if left to rest, the components will separate into layers. A common example of this is oil and water, which needs to be shaken to ensure a temporarily uniform solution.

Colloids are mixtures where substances are evenly distributed, but not fully dissolved due to a large particle size. The substances with the largest particles can be filtered out through a membrane. To test for a colloid, a light is shone through the mixture. The light will simply shine through a true solution, but be clearly visible when shone on a colloid mixture.

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    How are mixtures separated?

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    What is a list of homogeneous mixtures?

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