The homogeneous mixtures are a type of mixture whose components can not be distinguished from each eye. They are very common mixtures that can be found in our homes, at school and practically anywhere.
It could be said that homogeneous mixtures are the opposite of heterogeneous mixtures, since in these, the components can be distinguished with the naked eye.
It is important to remember that a mixture is a material made of two or more substances that are together, but not chemically bonded to each other.
In homogeneous mixtures, all the material looks completely uniform despite being made up of several components. For this reason, the only way to realize that we are in the presence of a homogeneous mixture is whether or not we can separate it into its individual components.
As an example, let’s consider seawater, which is a homogeneous mixture of water and different salts. When looking at salt water, it looks like pure water with the naked eye. But if all the water in the solution evaporates, the salt will crystallize at the bottom of the container. Only when it is possible to separate the water from the salt is it confirmed that it was a homogeneous mixture and it was not pure water.
Characteristics of homogeneous mixtures
They are made up of at least two components
To be a mixture, a material must be made up of at least two substances, otherwise it would be a pure substance. Instead, there is no limit to the maximum number of components it can contain.
They have a uniform composition
If any sample is taken from a homogeneous mixture, it will be made up of the same components in the same proportions or in the same concentration.
For example, if we take different drops of honey of different sizes from the same jar, they will all be equally sweet, they will have the same color and the same smell.
They cannot be separated by filtration or decantation
Since the homogeneous mixture is completely uniform, no matter how many times it is filtered or decanted, its components will remain together.
Differences in properties such as solubility or the boiling point of its components serve to separate homogeneous mixtures. In the example of seawater, the difference between the boiling point of water and that of salt served to separate these two components.
They can occur in any state of matter
Homogeneous mixtures can be solid (as in the case of alloys), liquid (as in the case of solutions), or gaseous (such as air).
Its components can also be in different states
Mixtures can be prepared between two or more solids, between solids and liquids, between two or more liquids, between two or more gases, between gases and liquids, and any other combination.
The properties of homogeneous mixtures are often different from those of the individual components
In many homogeneous mixtures such as alloys, it happens that the hardness, corrosion resistance, color and other properties are completely different from those of the separate components.
Examples of homogeneous mixtures
Here are several examples of homogeneous mixtures:
1. Sea water
It is a homogeneous mixture made up of water and various salts, including sodium chloride or common table salt.
This alloy is made up of a mixture of zinc, copper, and nickel, and it looks a lot like silver.
3. Vanilla ice cream
This ice cream is a solid (or almost solid) mixture of water, sugars, fats and in some cases flavors and colors.
Mustard produced industrially is a mixture of mustard grains, vinegar, salt, sugar and spices that are intensively blended until a homogeneous mixture is obtained.
5. Dough for white bread
It is a mixture prepared by kneading refined wheat flour, water, eggs, salt, sugar and yeast until you have a uniform mixture that can be considered a homogeneous mixture.
All syrups are concentrated and viscous solutions of water and sugar and, in some cases, other components that add odor and flavor to the mixture.
Glass is a homogeneous mixture of different minerals including sand (silica), sodium carbonate, limestone and others, which have been melted and solidified again.
8. Dental amalgam
This metallic-looking mixture is made by mixing liquid mercury with other metals such as silver, tin, copper, or zinc.
Both gasoline and diesel are examples of homogeneous liquid mixtures. In these cases, these liquids are hydrocarbons obtained from oil refining .
10. Pool water
Pool water is not pure water, but a homogeneous solution of water and chlorine.
11. Colored plastics
Most pure plastics such as polyethylene or PVC are white materials. Therefore, a blue plastic pipe is a homogeneous mixture of PVC or polyethylene with a blue pigment or colorant.
12. Alcoholic beverages
These are homogeneous mixtures of water, ethyl alcohol, and other substances that give them color, flavor, and aroma. In the case of beer and sparkling wines, these also contain dissolved gases.
Honey is a highly concentrated solution of different sugars such as fructose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, and others. The rest of the mixture is made up of water.
14. Grape jelly
The main components of this sweet and gelatinous homogeneous mixture are water, sugar and pectin, as well as flavorings and colors.
Milk can be considered as a homogeneous mixture, since its components, which are water, fat and milk solids, cannot be distinguished with the naked eye.
16. The air
This is an example of a homogeneous gaseous mixture. It is made up of gaseous nitrogen, gaseous oxygen, water vapor, and carbon dioxide.
17. Soft drinks
Soft drinks correspond to homogeneous mixtures of water, flavorings, colorants (in some cases), sugar and carbon dioxide gas.
Bronze is a homogeneous alloy made up of different amounts of copper and tin.
19. Coffee with milk
After mixing the coffee with the milk (both homogeneous mixtures), the resulting mixture of coffee with milk is uniform and neither the coffee nor the milk separately can be distinguished with the naked eye, therefore, it is a homogeneous mixture.
20. Cooking oil
All the oils used in cooking (corn, soy or olive, for example) are liquid mixtures of different fatty acids.
21. Other examples