What is a Mixture? Difference between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Mixtures.

What is a Mixture?

A mixture is a combination of different substances that maintain their characteristics and can be separated by physical means. These diffusion particles did not undergo any chemical change while being a part of the mixture.

The main difference – homogeneous mixture vs. homogeneous

A mixture is a combination of different substances that maintain their characteristics and can be separated by physical means.  These diffusion particles do not undergo any chemical change while being a part of the mixture.  Mixtures are divided into two major categories known as homogeneous mixtures and asymmetrical mixtures.  The terms homo and hetero indicate the most prominent differences between homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures.

The prefix refers to homo while homo indicates homosexual non-homogeneity.  Homogeneous mixtures have the same composition throughout the system, and heterogeneous mixtures have the opposite.  The particles in the odd one are arranged randomly while the particles in a homogeneous mixture are arranged uniformly, giving rise to a uniform composition.

What is a Homogeneous Mixture?

A homogeneous mixture is a combination of uniform compositions. These mixtures have a similar composition due to the uniform distribution of particles. These have only one phase. They do not separate into layers, and the components are of molecular or atomic level. Homogeneous mixtures are often called solutions in common terms.

Dissolve sugar in water: Take samples from multiple points of the solution. You will understand that the taste is similar to the sampling point. This indicates that the sugar particles are evenly distributed throughout the liquid phase; Therefore the solution of sugar + water is homogeneous.

However, if you add sugar to the solution, you can see that there comes a point where the sugar no longer dissolves. This is called satisfaction. Beyond the saturation point, the sugar will no longer dissolve in water, and the symmetry will be lost. But, if a sufficient amount of solvent is added, the dissolved amount of sugar can be dissolved. This suggests that the number of substances that take part in the mixing must be taken into account to maintain the symmetry of a certain mixture.

The most abundant substance in a homogeneous mixture is called the solvent and the substance which dissolves in it is called a dissolved substance. In the previously discussed example, water is the solvent, while sugar is the solute that was dissolved.

The structure of a homogeneous mixture (a solution) can be represented by the term concentration. The concentration is the amount of solute dissolved in the solvent.

Types and examples of homogeneous mixtures

Liquid mixture: Pure water, vinegar, coconut oil, etc.

Gas Mixtures: Air in the Atmosphere

Solid mixtures: For example mineral ores, alloys such as steel, bronze, brass

What is a Heterogeneous mixture?

Heterogeneous mixtures are composed of two or more substances that exhibit specific characteristics. These mixtures often separate into phases.

Oil and water are good examples of a heterogeneous mixture. When the oil is mixed with water, the separation of the two layers is visible. The following figure clearly shows this phenomenon.

Examples of heterogeneous mixtures

Emulsion: A heterogeneous mixture of two liquids. The mixture of oil and water discussed above is a good example of this.

Suspension: Large particles of solid are dispersed in a liquid. Example: soil and water.

 Liquid Aerosol: Fine liquid droplets are suspended in a gas. Perfume is a liquid aerosol

Solid Aerosol: When solid particles are dispersed in a gas, a solid aerosol is formed. Smoke is one such solid aerosol.

Difference between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Mixtures

Homogeneous MixturesHeterogeneous Mixtures
In homogeneous mixtures, the entire mixture has a uniform composition.Heterogeneous mixtures have a mixed composition that can vary from point to point.
The components are not visible to the naked eye.The components can be seen easily and distinguished.
The entire mixture has phase separation.The entire mixture is in a single phase.
Particle size is often at the atomic or molecular level.Heterogeneous mixtures have large particle sizes.
The ingredients cannot be easily segregated.The ingredients can be easily segregated.


Both homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures are composed of two or more components that are not chemically bonded. These mixtures are used in our daily life. It is important to maintain symmetry in producing medicinal drugs, beverages, alloys, plastics, etc. Most heterogeneous mixtures are found in nature. Soil and stone are some examples of this.