Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Substances

This is part of HSC Year 11 Chemistry course under the topic of Properties of Matter 

HSC Chemistry Syllabus

  • Explore homogeneous mixtures and heterogeneous mixtures

Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Substances


Mixtures, in its diverse forms, can combined to create a wide array of mixtures with varying properties and compositions. These mixtures, composed of two or more elements and/or compounds, can be broadly classified into two categories: homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures. 

1. Homogeneous Mixtures

  • A homogeneous mixture is one in which the components are uniformly distributed throughout the mixture. The composition remains consistent, no matter which portion of the mixture is examined. Homogeneous mixtures typically exhibit only one phase of matter, such as liquid or gas, but not both simultaneously. 
  • A common example of a homogeneous mixture is air. Air is a mixture consisting of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide and trace amount of other gases. Regardless of where air is collected, its composition remains consistent. 

2. Heterogeneous Mixtures

  • A heterogeneous mixture, on the other hand, has a non-uniform distribution of components, resulting in an uneven composition throughout the mixture. 
  • An example of a heterogeneous mixture is a glass of soda with ice cubes in it. The ice floats to the top, leaving the bottom of the glass filled only with liquid while the top contains solid. This uneven distribution of components illustrates the nature of a heterogeneous mixture.