Difference Between Suspension and Colloid in Tabular Form

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The main difference between suspension and colloid is that suspensions consist of larger, visible particles that tend to settle. Colloids, on the other hand, involve smaller, often translucent particles that remain suspended due to various mechanisms.

Not to mention, one of the similarities between them is that both of them are two distinct types of heterogeneous mixtures, each with its own unique properties and applications. Understanding their differences and similarities is crucial for scientists, engineers, and anyone working with materials or substances in various industries.

These differences in particle size, behavior, and applications significantly affect the selection of the appropriate material for specific processes or products. In fact, by referencing this comprehensive tabular comparison, you can make informed decisions about when to use suspensions or colloids, ensuring optimal results in your scientific or industrial endeavors.


Suspension vs Colloid

1.Particle SizeLarge particles (>1000 nm).Smaller particles (1-1000 nm).
2.StabilityUnstable; particles settle over time.Stable; particles remain dispersed.
3.VisibilityParticles are visible and can be filtered.Particles are usually not visible or filterable.
4.Tyndall EffectScatters light, producing a visible beam.It scatters light but not as prominently.
5.FilteringRequires filtration to separate particles.Passes through filters, challenging to separate.
6.Settling RateRapid settling due to gravity.Slow settling rate, often inhibited.
7.HomogeneityHeterogeneous mixture.Heterogeneous or can appear homogeneous.
8Particle MobilityParticles are free to move.Particles may show limited movement.
9.Particle InteractionLimited interaction; may aggregate over time.Strong inter-particle forces, resisting agglomeration
10.ExamplesMuddy water, orange juice with pulp.Liquid aerosols, Solid aerosols, Foams.


Detailed Explanation of 10 Differences Between Suspension and Colloid:

  1. Particle Size: Suspensions consist of large particles with diameters exceeding 1000 nanometers, whereas colloids comprise smaller particles ranging from 1 to 1000 nanometers.
  2. Stability: Suspensions are generally unstable and prone to settling over time, leading to phase separation. Colloids are inherently stable, with particles remaining dispersed within the medium.
  3. Visibility: In suspensions, particles are often visible to the naked eye and can be filtered out. Colloid particles are usually too small to be seen and are not easily removed by filtration.
  4. Tyndall Effect: Suspensions exhibit a prominent Tyndall effect, scattering light and creating a visible beam. Colloids also scatter light but less noticeably compared to suspensions.
  5. Filtering: Separating particles from a suspension requires filtration, as particles readily settle. Colloids, on the other hand, pass through filters, making separation challenging.
  6. Settling Rate: Suspensions settle quickly due to gravity’s influence, making continuous stirring necessary. Colloids have a slow settling rate and are often inhibited from settling due to the repulsive forces between particles.
  7. Homogeneity: Suspensions are inherently heterogeneous, with a visible phase separation. Colloids can appear homogeneous, but in some cases, they may also exhibit heterogeneity.
  8. Particle Mobility: Particles in suspensions are typically free to move throughout the medium. In colloids, particle movement may be more limited, with particles potentially forming stable dispersions.
  9. Particle Interaction: In suspensions, particle interactions are limited, and aggregation often occurs over time. Colloids have strong inter-particle forces, resisting aggregation and maintaining stability.
  10. Examples: Common examples of suspensions include muddy water and orange juice with pulp. Colloids are found in substances like Liquid aerosols, Solid aerosols, and Foams.

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my career, and therefore I did my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every aspect of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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