Take a glass the water and also throw in a grasp of sand or dirt. Row it and also stir it and stir it. Have actually you make a solution? Sand and dirt execute not dissolve in water, and, despite it might look homogenous because that a few moments, the sand or dirt progressively sinks come the bottom the the glass (see figure below). Some medicines are delivered as suspensions and must be blended well prior to the doses measured to make sure the patience is receiving the exactly amount the medication.

You are watching: How does a suspension differ from a solution?

Figure (PageIndex1): A mixture that sand and also water forms a suspension.

A suspension is a heterogeneous mixture in which several of the particles work out out the the mixture upon standing. The corpuscle in a suspension are far larger 보다 those of a solution, so heaviness is maybe to traction them under out that the dispersion tool (water). The diameter because that the dispersed particles in a suspension, such as the sand in the suspension explained above, is frequently at the very least 1000 times greater than those in a solution. Unlike a solution, the spread particles can be separated from the dispersion medium by filtering. Suspensions are thought about heterogeneous because the various substances in the mixture will certainly not remain uniformly spread if they room not proactively being mixed.


A colloid is a heterogeneous mixture in i m sorry the distributed particles are intermediate in size between those of a solution and a suspension. The particles are spread evenly throughout the dispersion medium, which have the right to be a solid, liquid, or gas. Because the spread particles that a colloid are not as huge as those the a suspension, they do not resolve out top top standing. The table listed below summarizes the properties and also distinctions between solutions, colloids, and also suspensions.

Table (PageIndex1): properties of Solutions, Colloids, and Suspensions SolutionColloidsSuspensions
Homogeneous Heterogeneous Heterogeneous
Particle size: (0.01)-(1 : extnm); atoms, ion or molecules Particle size: (1)-(1000 : extnm), dispersed; big molecules or aggregates Particle size: end (1000 : extnm), suspended: huge particles or aggregates
Do not different on standing Do not different on standing Particles settle out
Cannot be separated by filtration Cannot it is in separated by filtration Can be separated by filtration
Do not scatter light Scatter light (Tyndall effect) May either scatter irradiate or be opaque

Colloids room unlike solutions because their dispersed particles are much larger than those of a solution. The spread particles of a colloid can not be be separated by filtration, however they scatter light, a phenomenon referred to as the Tyndall effect.

Tyndall Effect

Colloids are often confused with true homogenous solutions since the individual distributed particles the a colloid can not be seen. Once light is passed with a true solution, the dissolved particles are too small to deflect the light. However, the spread particles of a colloid, gift larger, carry out deflect irradiate (see figure below). The Tyndall effect is the scattering of visible irradiate by colloidal particles. You have undoubtedly "seen" a irradiate beam as it passes with fog, smoke, or a scattering of dust corpuscle suspended in air. All 3 are examples of colloids. Suspensions might scatter light, however if the number of suspended corpuscle is sufficiently large, the suspension might simply be opaque, and the light scattering will not occur.

Figure (PageIndex2): light passes v a colorless solution and is not scattered. When it passes through a diluted milk solution, the irradiate is scattered by colloidal particles, an monitoring of the Tyndall effect. The Tyndall effect permits sunlight to be viewed as it passes with a fine mist.

See more: How Many Kids Did Pancho Villa Have ? Pancho Villa

Examples the Colloids

Listed in the table listed below are instances of colloidal systems, most of which are really familiar. Several of these are shown below (see number below). The distributed phase defines the particles, when the dispersion medium is the material in i m sorry the particles space distributed.

Table (PageIndex2): classes of Colloids Class the ColloidDispersed PhaseDispersion MediumExamples
Sol and gel solid liquid paint, jellies, blood, gelatin, mud
Solid aerosol solid gas smoke, dust in air
Solid emulsion liquid solid cheese, butter
Liquid emulsion liquid liquid milk, mayonnaise
Liquid aerosol liquid gas fog, mist, clouds, aerosol spray
Foam gas solid marshmallow
Foam gas liquid whipped cream, shaving cream
Figure (PageIndex3): Some usual colloids (A) gelatin dessert, (B) smoke (solid aerosol), (C) butter (solid emulsion), (D) mayonnaise (liquid emulsion), (E) fog (liquid aerosol), (F) marshmallows (foam), (G) whipped cream (foam)