Basic chemistry

What is Colloid and give examples ?

Colloids definition?

colloids definition formation and examples  in chemistry

Examples of colloids in chemistry

Colloids definition formation and Examples of and how to distinguish them from solutions and suspensions

Colloids definition :

Colloids are uniform mixtures that do not separate or settle. While colloidal mixtures are generally considered to be homogeneous mixtures , they often exhibit heterogeneous quality when viewed at the microscopic scale. Each colloidal mixture has two parts: the particles and the dispersing medium. Colloidal particles are solids or liquids that are suspended in the medium. These particles are larger than molecules, which distinguishes a colloid from a solution .

However, the particles in a colloid are smaller than those found in a suspension . In smoke, for example, the solid particles from combustion are suspended in a gas.

Here are several examples of colloids:


  • fog
  • insecticide spray
  • clouds
  • smoke
  • dust


  • whipped cream
  • shaving cream

Solid foams

  • marshmallows
  • polystyrene


  • Milk
  • Mayonnaise
  • lotion


  • Gelatin
  • Butter
  • jelly


  • ink
  • rubber
  • liquid detergent
  • shampoo

Solid floors

  • pearl
  • precious stones
  • a colored glass
  • some alloys

How to tell a colloid of a solution or a suspension

At first glance, it may seem difficult to distinguish between a colloid, a solution and a suspension, as particle size can not usually be determined simply by looking at the mixture. However, there are two simple ways to identify a colloid:

  1. The components of a suspension separate over time. Solutions and colloids do not separate.
  2. If you shine a light beam in a colloid, it displays the Tyndall effect , which makes the light beam visible in the colloid, as the light is scattered by the particles. An example of the Tyndall effect is the visibility of light from car headlights through the fog.

How colloids are formed Colloids formation :

Colloids generally form one of two ways:

  • The droplets of particles may be dispersed in another medium by spraying, grinding, mixing at high speed or stirring.
  • Small dissolved particles can be condensed into colloidal particles by oxidation-reduction, precipitation or condensation reactions.

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