Colloid vs Suspension: Difference and Comparison

Colloid and Suspension are both heterogeneous mixtures. It has its features and several effects which can be observed through them. The Tyndall effect occurs and can be observed in the colloidal particles only.

The main thing is that colloid and suspension are mixtures, not proper solutions. Brownian movement is a type of movement that can be mainly seen in colloids.

Key Takeaways

  1. Colloids are mixtures where one substance is dispersed evenly throughout another substance, while suspensions are mixtures where one substance is suspended in another but not evenly distributed.
  2. Colloids have particles that are too small to be seen with the naked eye and do not settle out over time, while suspensions have visible particles that settle out over time.
  3. Colloids can be transparent or translucent, while suspensions are opaque and cloudy.

Colloid vs Suspension

A colloid is a mixture in which one substance is dispersed evenly throughout another sense, forming a stable combination. Examples of colloids include milk, jelly, and smoke. A suspension is a mixture in which particles are not evenly dispersed and will eventually settle out over time. Examples of suspensions include mud and blood.

Colloid vs Suspension

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonColloidSuspension
DefinitionThe heterogeneous mixture in which mixed particles cannot be separated using filtration.The heterogeneous mixture as the particles can be separated using filtration.
FiltrationParticles cannot be separated.Particles can be separated.
Separation Through StandingNoYes
Scatter LightParticles can scatter light.Particles cannot be scattered.
Size of Particle1-1000nmmore than 1000nm
Brownian Movement YesMay be or may not be

What is a Colloid?

It is a heterogeneous mixture that has a small size of particles. These particles are so small that it is not visible through human eyes. The sizes vary from 1-1000nm.

These particles spread evenly and uniformly throughout the mixture. These particles cannot be separated using filtration as the particles get distributed uniformly.

These particles can scatter light which is known as the Tyndall effect. Mostly the colloid is considered a homogeneous solution as the particles cannot be seen.

The particles can scatter light as the size of the particles are so small that they cannot deflect light. The real-life examples of colloids are smoke and fog.

The colloid can form any state like solid and liquid, stable emulsion, liquid aerosol, or solid aerosol. The colloids are observed under a scientific microscope, and it moves in random movement.

This movement of colloid particles is known as Brownian motion. An emulsion is a type of class of colloids.

The colloidal mixture of liquid in liquid or solid is termed an emulsion. The particle size in the colloid is intermediate as compared to suspension. Some examples of emulsions are butter and mayonnaise. The particles do not get separated when it is kept still.

colloid 1

What is Suspension?

A mixture of two or more substances together forms a heterogeneous medium. The particles can be separated using the filtration method. These particles get separated so clearly as it is large enough and visible through human eyes.

The size of particles is more than 1000nm.

The particles in suspension get separated when kept still. The particles get separated due to gravity. Examples of suspension are sand and water, oil and water, and many more.

These particles do not spread uniformly in the dispersed medium. More examples are milk of magnesia and flour in water.

The suspension mixture is opaque, so it cannot scatter light through its particles. In suspension, the particles get settle down quickly. The difference between the particles can be seen clearly.

The particles are visible in human eyes as it is more prominent. The article does not follow any uniformity, due to which it is considered a heterogeneous mixture.

The stability of suspension is metastable. It is a two-phase system. The sediments settle down in the mixture, visibly observing the suspension. It doesn’t need to show the Brownian movement. Light cannot pass through suspension as it is opaque.


Main Differences Between Colloid and Suspension

  1. The diameter of particles in a colloid is 1-1000nm, whereas the diameter of particles in suspension is more than 1000nm in size.
  2. The colloid looks clear, whereas the suspension looks opaque.
  3. The particles can be seen easily in suspension and not in the colloid.
  4. Colloid depends on the size of particles, and suspension depends on the colour of the settle-down particles.
  5. The colloid shows Brownian moments, whereas suspension may or may not show Brownian movements.
Difference Between Colloid and Suspension

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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