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Mixtures, Solutions and Suspensions

The difference between mixtures, solutions and suspensions

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Mixtures

A mixture is a combination of substances which are not chemically joined together.

  • Mixtures have the same properties as their components
  • There is no fixed proportion between the components
  • The components can be separated from the mixture

Examples

  • sugar and salt
  • air with nitrogen and oxygen

Solutions

A solution is a homogeneous mixture in which one substance (solute) is dissolved in another substance (solvent).

  • The components in a solution may not be separated from the solution by leaving it to stand, or by filtration

If a material dissolves in a liquid the material is said to be soluble. A solution is saturated if no more solute can be dissolved with temperature remaining constant. 

Examples

  • salt in sea water

Suspensions

A suspension is a mixture of liquids with particles of a solid which may not dissolve in the liquid.

  • The solid may be separated from the liquid by leaving it to stand, or by filtration

Examples

  • sand in water
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  • en: mixtures solutions suspensions solubility
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