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Examples of Colloids

Last updated date: 23rd May 2024
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Study the Examples of Colloids

There are different types of substances around us. We generally segregate them into elements and compounds. Most of the substances exist in the form of mixtures. There are different types of mixtures as you must have studied in the previous classes. One such classification is a colloid. It is also called colloidal systems or colloidal substances. In this page, we will discuss the definition and examples of colloids. This concept page has been created by the experts of Vedantu so that students preparing for their exams can find a relevant and simplified description of this topic for better understanding. On this page, you will find how colloids form and vary from other mixtures. Every feature of a colloidal system will be described and discussed so that students can use this page as a reference to quickly study and prepare the chapter.

What is a Colloid?

If we simplify the terminology, a colloid means an even mixture of two or more substances where one is split into very small particles and dispersed into the other substances uniformly. The particle size getting dispersed in the colloidal system varies from 1 to 1000 nanometers. Despite the size, these particles do not settle down and remain suspended. These particles can be viewed in an electron microscope very easily. This is what is a colloid in chemistry. You will find a detailed description of this unique substance on the page developed by the Vedantu team.

Another thing you need to remember while studying colloids is the concept of the dispersed phase and dispersed medium. It is quite simple if you follow the definition given above for colloid. A dispersed phase is one of the substances that break down into nanoparticles to evenly distribute itself in a medium. The dispersed medium is the one that holds these particles separately. Both substances will not be separated or settled. In fact, they do not form a solution as the particles are dispersed in the medium, but not dissolved.

Different Types of Colloids

This section will show the different types of colloids with examples. In this section, every type of colloid will be described in a proper way using simpler language so that students can easily understand. Here are the types of colloids and examples.

1. Multi-molecular Colloids

When the dispersed phase forms an aggregate of a large number of atoms or small-sized molecules, it forms a species of suspended particles inside the dispersed medium to form a multimolecular colloid. One of the best examples of this type is sulfur molecules. They form a species inside a dispersed medium by associating varieties of several sulfur atoms together.

2. Macromolecular Colloids

Macromolecules, in this colloid, disperse in the medium to form an even mixture. The size is comparatively bigger but remains within the size range required to form a colloidal solution. These colloidal systems are quite stable and match with the properties of a solution in different aspects. The best example of this type of colloidal solution is cellulose, enzymes, starch, etc. occurring in a cell. This can be considered as examples of colloids in daily life

3. Associated Colloids

At low concentrations, some electrolytes behave as strong solutions. At high concentration, they behave like a colloidal system. The higher concentration of the electrolyte results in the physical union of smaller particles forming bigger particles. These aggregate particles are also called micelles. If we give two examples of colloids in our daily life, detergents and soaps are the best choices.

Another way to define colloids and segregate them are:

  • Sol– It is a colloidal system where solid particles are the dispersed phase in a liquid that acts as a dispersed medium.

  • Emulsion– In this case, the dispersion of two liquids occurs. One of them becomes the phase and the other acts as a medium.

  • Foam– When gas particles act as a dispersed phase in liquids and solids, it creates foam.

  • Aerosol– When a solid or liquid dispersed phase is uniformly suspended in a gas, it forms an aerosol.

Why Should You Study the Different Types of Colloidal Systems?

Studying the different types of colloidal systems and common examples of colloids will help you understand how these systems form. You will also be able to identify which mixtures are colloids and can differentiate them from solutions. Learn the properties of a colloid and remember the example for colloids so that you can conveniently answer the questions in an exam.

FAQs on Examples of Colloids

Q1. How Do Colloids Differ from Solutions?

Colloids are almost similar to that of the solutions. It varies only in the particle size of the dispersed phase. The particles in a solution cannot be seen with an electron microscope whereas colloidal particles of the dispersed phase can be seen and observed. The particle size ranges from 1 to 1000 nm.  

Q2. How Can You Understand Different Types of Colloids?

Follow this concept page describing colloids and their different types. This concept page has been created with the sole aim to help students understand the differences among the types along with proper examples of colloids chemistry. This organized material will help you clear the concept of colloids once and forever.

Q3. Where Will Find the Best Colloids Solutions Examples?

You will find the best and relevant examples of different colloids on this concept page.