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Heterogeneous and Homogeneous Mixtures

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Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Mixtures are two types of Mixtures that are different from pure substances like elements and compounds because mixtures contain different substances that are combined physically but not chemically. A homogeneous mixture has a uniform composition and appearance. Individual substances that constitute a homogeneous mixture cannot be visually differentiated. On the other hand, a heterogeneous mixture comprises two or more substances that can be distinctly observed and even separated relatively easily.

Let’s learn about homogeneous mixtures and heterogeneous mixtures and others in detail in this article.

What are Mixtures?

Pure Substances are those substances whose constituent particles are the same in their chemical property or nature. Pure substances are a pure and single form of matter. It consists of single types of particles that can either be an element or a compound. 

For example- Each and every particle of silver will show the property of silver.

Impure substances are those substances whose constituent particles do not have the same chemical nature. Impure substances are often known as Mixture. Mixtures are constituted by adding more than one kind of pure form of matter. It is made up of two or more elements or compounds that are mixed physically. A mixture can be separated into its constituents by physical process. Usually, energy is neither given out nor absorbed in the preparation of a mixture. The composition of the mixture always varies. The mixture is not combined together chemically. 

For example- Air is a mixture of water vapours and different gases like oxygen, nitrogen, argon, etc. 

Read more: What is a Mixture?

Types of Mixtures 

Mixtures are of two types,

  • Homogeneous Mixture
  • Heterogeneous Mixture
Types of Mixtures


Homogeneous Mixture Definition

Homogeneous Mixtures are those types of mixtures in which the mixed components are evenly spread in the whole mixture. There is no partitional difference in the mixture. 

We can’t determine the mixture by only seeing it because its particles are not physically detectable. All Homogeneous mixtures are solutions. For example- Wine, Vinegar, etc.

Homogeneous mixture examples


Properties of Homogeneous Mixtures

Various properties of Homogeneous Mixtures are,

  • It has a uniform composition throughout, for instance, you will notice that a mixture of salt and water tastes salty at each and every sip means salt has occupied its space all over uniformly.
  • There is no partition in between the solution means if you will notice the saltwater you will see that there are no patches or foam or anything which will divide the solution into two halves.

Heterogeneous Mixture Definition

In this kind of mixture, particles are physically distinguishable as they do not have uniform composition. These mixtures can be concluded just by watching. 

All heterogeneous mixtures are colloid and suspended. Mixtures in which substances remain distinct and one substance disperses into another substance in the form of small bubbles or in any form are called heterogeneous mixtures. For example- Ice cubes in cola form a heterogeneous mixture. Fruit and nut cookies are a heterogeneous mixture.

Heterogeneous mixture examples


Properties of Heterogeneous Mixtures

Various properties of Heterogeneous Mixtures are,

  • For instance, you can take a solution of sugar and sand dissolved in water. On observing after some time, you will see that there are two halves divided in the solution in which sand has settled down in the bottom whereas sugar gets fully dissolved in the water creating the first half.
  • A mixture of two immiscible liquids is also a heterogeneous mixture, like a mixture of water and oil is also a heterogeneous mixture because when they both will be mixed together, the oil will start floating on the top surface, and they will not get mixed with each other forming two clear phases in the mixture.

Examples of Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Mixtures

Various examples of Homogeneous and Heterogeneous mixtures are discussed below,

Air ‘A Homogeneous Mixture’

Air is a homogeneous mixture which is composed of various gases such as Nitrogen, Oxygen and others.

Blood ‘A Heterogeneous Mixture’

Blood is a heterogeneous mixture which is made up of various components called red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. These substances are not properly mixed together but are kept separated from each other.

Concrete ‘A Heterogeneous Mixture’

Concrete consists of water, cement, gravel, sand and rocks but not in a fixed ratio. i.e it is not always uniform and hence it is a heterogeneous mixture.

Is milk homogeneous or heterogeneous?

Milk can be considered both heterogeneous and homogeneous. i.e. the pure milk which we get from cows and buffalos is a heterogeneous mixture as the fats, proteins, and others are not mixed uniformly rather than just added. Whereas, the packed milk used in our houses can be considered a homogeneous mixture as it is homogenized by the machines and all the components are fully mixed together.

Example of a Heterogeneous Mixture

The image given below shows a heterogeneous mixture.

Example of Heterogeneous Mixture


Example of Homogeneous Mixture

The image given below shows a homogeneous mixture.

Example of Homogeneous Mixture


Difference between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Mixtures

The major difference between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Mixtures is discussed below in the table,

Homogeneous Mixture

Heterogeneous Mixture

Mixtures that have uniform composition.  Mixtures that do not have uniform composition throughout.
The boundary of separation could not be seen. The boundary of separation of constituent particles is clearly visible.
Particles are not indistinguishable.   Particles can be physically distinguishable.
‘Homo’ means the same. ‘Hetero’ means different.
Particles can’t be seen with the naked eye. Particles can be seen with the naked eye.
It has uniform properties throughout. Its different parts have different properties.
For Example– Copper sulphate dissolves in water. For Example– Muddy water, or detergent solution.

FAQs on Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Mixtures

Question 1: What is a Homogeneous Mixture?


Mixtures in which all the components added are spread evenly is called homogeneous mixture. An example of a homogeneous mixture is Air.

Question 2: What is a Heterogeneous Mixture?


A mixture in which all the components are easily distinguishable is called a Heterogeneous mixture. An example of a homogeneous mixture is Blood.

Question 3: What are heterogeneous and homogeneous mixture examples?


  • Various examples of homogeneous mixtures are water, lemonade, alloys, and bitumen. 
  • Various examples of heterogeneous mixtures are sand in oil, sand in water, concrete, milk and others.

Question 4: Why do solutions, colloids, and suspensions have different properties?


Due to different particle size there is the difference in properties of solutions, colloids and suspensions.

Question 5: Classify matter on the basis of its composition.


On the basis of composition, matter can be classified into-

  1. Pure substance
  2. Mixture

Question 6: How many types of pure substances are there? Name them.


There are two types of pure substances i.e. element and compound.

Question 7: What is Solute?


The component of the solution which has to be dissolved in the solution is called as solute.

Question 8: What is the major constituent of the atmosphere?


Nitrogen is the major constituent of air in our atmosphere.

Question 9: Is air homogeneous or heterogeneous?


Air is a homogeneous mixture as all its components are uniformly mixed and it is difficult to separate various components separately.

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Last Updated : 03 Apr, 2023
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