Meaning of Colloid

What is colloid:

The colloids are called mixtures of substances found between solutions and suspensions and whose particles have a size between 10 and 100 nanometers.

The word colloid derives from the Greek kolas which means “stick”.

For this reason, when a colloid is referred to, it is because one is talking about a set of particles that are characterized by how easy they are to unite and how difficult it is to separate them.

Colloids are also called by other names such as colloidal solution, colloidal dispersion, or colloidal substance.

Characteristics of colloids

Collides are characterized by being formed, in general, by microscopic particles that are difficult to see with the naked eye, however, on occasions they can also be made up of macroscopic particles that are easier to observe.

Colloids are mainly characterized by being the result of a mixture that is carried out in two phases: the dispersed phase and the dispersing or dispersing phase.

These resulting mixtures or substances, especially if they are fluid, do not separate easily, so specialists sometimes need to use coagulation methods.

colloid phases

dispersed phase: This phase is made up of those particles, smaller or larger, that are suspended in a liquid, which can act independently or in conjunction with other particles.

For example, they can be solid elements that can be observed through the microscope.

Dispersing or dispersing phase: It is a substance that contains distributed colloidal particles. Some examples of these colloids are the homogeneous mixtures from which they result: gel, aerosols, shaving foam, gum arabic, among others.

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However, they can also be particles that can be seen without the need for specialized equipment. For example, suspended dust can be observed, through light, floating in the air.

Fog and mist are also a type of colloid which, in its dispersing phase, is in a soluble gas state, but in the dispersed phase, it is in a liquid state.

Examples of colloids

Colloids can take different physical and chemical states depending on the phase they are in.

For example, emulsions are liquids made up of a set of colloidal particles in their dispersant phase. However, in its dispersed phase it remains a liquid substance and milk or mayonnaise can be obtained.

Another example, liquid aerosols in the dispersant phase is a gaseous substance, but in its dispersed phase it becomes liquid and can be transformed into clouds or mist.

Foams in a dispersant phase have a liquid composition, but in the dispersed phase they are transformed into a gas and substances such as foam soap or whipped cream, among others, are generated.