Characteristics of Mixtures

1. The constituents of a mixture are not present in a fixed ratio. Ocean water in some regions is saltier than in others. The amount of carbon dioxide and water vapor present in air also varies from place to place.

2. No chemical reaction takes place amongst the constituents of a mixture. Thus, the forces, which hold the constituents of a mixture together, are weak and, therefore, the constituents can be separated by simple methods. For example, a mixture of sand and water can be separated easily by filtration.

3. The constituents of a mixture retain their original properties. For example, the ability of air to support combustion is due to oxygen, which is one of its constituents. The chemical property of table salt (sodium chloride) remains the same, whether it is part of a mixture (seawater) or present by itself.


Types of Mixtures

Based on their composition, mixtures can be of the following types. Homogeneous mixtures. Homogeneous mixtures have uniform composition and properties in all the parts. A mixture of salt and water is a homogeneous mixture as it has the same salty taste throughout.


Sometimes it is hard to tell whether something is a mixture, Sugar mixed in water is one such example. The mixture is clear and you cannot see the sugar. A mixture like this is called a solution. In a solution the molecules of the solid (sugar) are called solute. They remain completely intermingled with the molecules of the liquid (water) called the solvent. Solutions are homogeneous mixtures.