Impure Substances vs. Mixtures

Impure Substances vs. Mixtures: Unlock the mysteries of chemistry with this guide to understanding pure substances vs. mixtures. Get a better grasp of impure substances, mixtures, and other basic chemistry concepts!
Understanding the difference between pure substances and mixtures is essential when studying chemistry. A pure substance is composed of one type of particle, while a mixture is made up of multiple particles that can be separated by physical means. This guide will explore impure substances and mixtures and how to identify them.

What is a Pure Substance?
A pure substance is composed of one type of particle. It’s also referred to as a single substance, and an element, compound or molecule can all fall into this category. Pure substances are homogenous with properties that are characteristic for that particular substance. These properties include boiling point, melting point, solubility and electrical conductivity among other things. Examples of pure substances include air, water, table salt and pure gold.

What Are Impure Substances?
Impure substances, on the other hand, consist of two or more types of atoms, molecules and/or ions combined in a way that they can’t be easily separated. An impure substance is also known as a mixture and consists of varying proportions of different substances combined together. Examples of mixtures include soil, air and concrete. These mixtures can often times be separated by physical means such as distillation or sieving.

What are Mixtures?
Mixtures are combinations of two or more different chemical substances. They can be either homogeneous, meaning the components are mixed together and form a single phase and identical composition, or heterogeneous, which means the composition of each part is different. Mixtures can also exist in various physical forms including gaseous, liquid and solid. Examples of mixtures include air, seawater and alloys like brass or bronze.

Difference Between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Mixtures
A homogeneous mixture is one in which the components are indistinguishable from each other. For example, a solution of sugar and water is a homogeneous mixture because it appears to be a single substance with the same composition throughout. On the other hand, a heterogeneous mixture consists of two or more substances that can be clearly seen and are easily distinguished from each other by sight or touch. An example of this type of mixture is fresh-squeezed orange juice, which contains sections of pulp along with the liquid part.

How to Separate Different Mixtures
The type of separation technique used to separate the components of a mixture depends on the composition and physical states of the components. For example, in non-homogeneous mixtures, gravity or sieving can be used to separate solids from liquids or fine particles from coarser ones. Filtration is also a good way to separate solid mixtures from liquid components, while distillation can be used to separate liquid mixtures composed of components with different boiling points. Finally, chromatography is an effective method for separating compounds that are insoluble in each other, but soluble in a third solvent.

The Mixture: The Mixture is the physical combination of two or more types of substances.

Example: Air is a mixture of gases, dust particles and water vapour.

Types of Mixtures

Homogeneous Mixture:

Homo means equal, thus such mixture contains equal distribution of particles. We cannot see particles of such mixture by naked eyes. All solutions are Homogeneous mixtures.

Example : Acid solutions, Salt solution etc

What is a solution?

Solution is a combination of solute and solvent.

Solute: substance with smaller amount in a solution.

Solvent: substance with larger amount in a solution.

Example: If Sulphuric acid is dissolved in water, sulphuric acid is a solute and water is a solvent.

Heterogeneous Mixture:

Hetero means unequal, such mixture contain unequal distribution of particles and we can see the particles either by naked eyes or microscope.

Example: colloid and suspension

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