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Examples of Colloidal Systems
Dispersed Phase Dispersion Medium Common Examples Name
solid gas smoke, dust
solid liquid starch in water, some inks, paints, milk of magnesia sol
solid solid some colored gems, some alloys
liquid gas clouds, fogs, mists, sprays aerosol
liquid liquid milk, mayonnaise, butter emulsion
liquid solid jellies, gels, pearl, opal (H 2 O in SiO 2 ) gel
gas liquid foams, whipped cream, beaten egg whites foam
gas solid pumice, floating soaps

Preparation of colloidal systems

We can prepare a colloidal system by producing particles of colloidal dimensions and distributing these particles throughout a dispersion medium. Particles of colloidal size are formed by two methods:

  1. Dispersion methods: that is, by breaking down larger particles. For example, paint pigments are produced by dispersing large particles by grinding in special mills.
  2. Condensation methods: that is, growth from smaller units, such as molecules or ions. For example, clouds form when water molecules condense and form very small droplets.

A few solid substances, when brought into contact with water, disperse spontaneously and form colloidal systems. Gelatin, glue, starch, and dehydrated milk powder behave in this manner. The particles are already of colloidal size; the water simply disperses them. Powdered milk particles of colloidal size are produced by dehydrating milk spray. Some atomizers produce colloidal dispersions of a liquid in air.

We can prepare an emulsion    by shaking together or blending two immiscible liquids. This breaks one liquid into droplets of colloidal size, which then disperse throughout the other liquid. Oil spills in the ocean may be difficult to clean up, partly because wave action can cause the oil and water to form an emulsion. In many emulsions, however, the dispersed phase tends to coalesce, form large drops, and separate. Therefore, emulsions are usually stabilized by an emulsifying agent    , a substance that inhibits the coalescence of the dispersed liquid. For example, a little soap will stabilize an emulsion of kerosene in water. Milk is an emulsion of butterfat in water, with the protein casein as the emulsifying agent. Mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil in vinegar, with egg yolk components as the emulsifying agents.

Condensation methods form colloidal particles by aggregation of molecules or ions. If the particles grow beyond the colloidal size range, drops or precipitates form, and no colloidal system results. Clouds form when water molecules aggregate and form colloid-sized particles. If these water particles coalesce to form adequately large water drops of liquid water or crystals of solid water, they settle from the sky as rain, sleet, or snow. Many condensation methods involve chemical reactions. We can prepare a red colloidal suspension of iron(III) hydroxide by mixing a concentrated solution of iron(III) chloride with hot water:

Fe 3+ ( aq ) + 3 Cl ( aq ) + 6 H 2 O ( l ) Fe ( OH ) 3 ( s ) + H 3 O + ( a q ) + 3 Cl ( a q ) .

A colloidal gold sol results from the reduction of a very dilute solution of gold(III) chloride by a reducing agent such as formaldehyde, tin(II) chloride, or iron(II) sulfate:

Questions & Answers

what is the meaning of intermolecular force
Eunice Reply
is the force of attraction that exist between two or more molecules
What is a primary standard solution ?
a known solution
Characteristic of a primary standard solution
pauli's exclusion is based on what?
avdhesh Reply
What is greatest modification made in dalton's atomic theory?
Ngwesse Reply
Types of electrolytes
Treasure Reply
Strong, weak and non-electrolytes
thanks what's this platform all about
list 6 subatomic particles and their mass, speed and charges
Dubem Reply
combination of acid and base
Ayibiro Reply
that salt
calculate the mass in gram of NaOH present in 250cm3 of 0.1mol/dm3 of its solution
Omego Reply
The mass is 1.0grams. First you multiply the molecular weight and molarity which is 39.997g/mol x 0.1mol/dm3= 3.9997g/dm3. Then you convert dm3 to cm3. 1dm3 =1000cm3. In this case you would divide 3.9997 by 1000 which would give you 3.9997*10^-3 g/cm3. To get the mass you multiply 3.9997*10^-3 and
250cm3 and get the mass as .999925, with significant figures the answer is 1.0 grams
nitrogen, phosphorus, arsenic, antimony and Bismuth
faith Reply
What is d electronic configuration of for group 5
Miracle Reply
Can I know d electronic configuration of for group 5 elements
2:5, 2:8:5, 2:8:8:5,...
Pls what are d names of elements found in group 5
define define. define
Muh Reply
what is enthalpy
Ayilaran Reply
total heat contents of the system is called enthalpy, it is state function.
background of chemistry
Banji Reply
what is the hybridisation of carbon in formic acid?
Maham Reply
sp2 hybridization
what is the first element
Josh Reply
Element that has positive charge and its non metal Name the element
account for the properties of organic compounds
mercy Reply
properties of organic compounds
Practice Key Terms 8

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry. OpenStax CNX. May 20, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11760/1.9
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