What is a Mixture?

In chemistry when two or more substances mix with each other it results in the formation of a Mixture. The result formed due to the combination of substances does not lose its individuality nor are they combined chemically. Mixtures are the one product of a mechanical blending or mixing of chemical substances such as elements and compounds

General properties of mixtures

Mixtures are made up of two or more substances which are not chemically combined with each other. The properties of mixtures are listed below.

  • The components of a mixture each keep their original properties.
  • The components can be separated easily.
  • The proportion of the components is variable.

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.

Types of mixtures

Types of Mixtures

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

Homogeneous Mixtures

Sugar mixed with water is the most common example of a homogeneous mixture. Homogeneous mixtures can be defined as the mixtures which possess the same properties and combination throughout their mass.

Homogeneous mixtures examples: alloys, salt, and water, alcohol in water, etc.

Heterogeneous Mixtures

A mixture of sand mixed with salt is an example of a heterogeneous mixture. Heterogeneous mixtures possess different properties and compositions in various parts i.e. the properties are not uniform throughout the mixture.

Heterogeneous mixtures examples: air, oil, and water, etc.

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

It can be concluded that almost everything in our vicinity is nothing but a mixture. For example, the food we eat is a mixture of ingredients, the atmospheric air we breathe is a combination of gases and the fuel we use in locomotives is a heterogeneous mixture.

The study of Mixture and its properties is a vast subject of research and plays an important role in various industries. For any further information regarding mixture and the properties associated with them visit Byju’s.

Practise This Question

What is formed by physical combination of two or more substances, which retain their identities?