15 Difference Between True Solution, Colloidal Solution, and Suspension (With Table)

The matter is anything that occupies space and has weight and mass. The matter is classified into liquid, solid, and gas. The classification depends on the nature of particle size.

The nature of particle size also helps in the grouping of solutions. It is the reason behind having a true solution, colloidal solution, and suspension.

So, what is the main difference between true solution, colloidal solution, and suspension? A true solution is a homogenous mixture of two or more substances where a solute dissolves in the solvent completely. A colloidal solution is a heterogeneous mixture of two or more substance are unevenly suspended to each other. A suspension is a heterogeneous mixture of two or more substances that do not dissolve in each other.

This article provides further differences between true solution, colloidal solution, and suspension. Take the time to read through it and note the crucial differences between them.

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Comparison Table (True Solution vs Colloidal Solution vs Suspension)

Basic Terms True Solution Colloidal Solution Suspension
DefinitionIt is a homogenous mixture where two or more solute dissolves in a solvent completely.It is a heterogeneous mixture where two or more substances are unevenly distributed in the solvent.It is a heterogeneous mixture where the solute does not get dissolve but rather becomes suspended.
ExampleSugar solution in water.Starch dissolved in water.Soil dissolved in water.
Nature of MixtureHomogenousHeterogenousHeterogenous
External AppearanceTransparentTranslucentOpaque
Particle sizeLess than 1 nm in diameter1 – 1000 nm in diameterGreater than 1000 nm
StabilityStableStableMetastable
Number of phase systemsOneTwoTwo
Particle visibility under naked eyes and light microscope. Not visibleVisibleVisible
Particle visibility under an electron microscopeNot visibleVisibleVisible
Effect of gravity on sedimentationWill not sedimentWill not sedimentSediment
ElectrolysisUndergo electrolysisUndergo cataphoresisUndergo electrophoresis
Solution colorDepend on the nature of soluble saltDepend on the size of colloidal particlesDepend on the color of suspended particles
Tyndal EffectDoes not display the Tyndal effectDisplay Tyndal effectLight does not penetrate through suspension
Brownian movementsParticles will not show Brownian movementsParticles will show Brownian momentsMay or may not show Brownian movements
Diffusion of the solution through parchment paperSimple and easyNo diffusion of particlesDo not pass through the parchment paper

What Is a True Solution?

It is a homogenous mixture where two or more substances dissolve in a solvent. The particle size of the substance is less than 1 nm in diameter.

An example of a true solution is when salt or sugar dissolves in water. These particles cannot be filtered using parchment paper. Besides that, these particles are invisible to the naked eyes.

The mixture is transparent in the liquid phase. The particles are distributed evenly and it does not either experience the Tyndall effect or the Brownian effect.

What Is a Colloidal Solution?

It is a heterogeneous mixture of two or more substances that are unevenly suspended on each other. The particle size range between 1- 1000 nm. It is an intermediate between true solution and suspension.

The solution is usually in a liquid state. An example of a colloidal solution is when the starch is dissolved in water. The tiny particles usually float instead of dissolving in the solvent.

The particles in the colloidal solutions cannot be seen with naked eyes but under an electron microscope. Types of colloidal solutions are emulsion, sol, foam, Hydrocolloid, Reversible or Irreversible Colloids.

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What Is a Suspension?

It is a heterogeneous mixture where the particle size is greater than 1000 nm. Dissolving soil in water is a good example of a suspension.

The soil particles will settle at the bottom despite stirring it. These particles are visible to the naked eyes. There is no need of using either an electron or light microscope.

Keep in mind that the Tyndall effect and Brownian motion are observed in suspension. Suspension particles do not pass through the parchment paper.

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Differences between True Solution, Colloidal Solution, and Suspension

  1. The true solution is where the solute dissolves in solvent completely. A colloidal solution is where solutes are uniformly distributed in the solvent. Suspension is where solutes do not dissolve in a solvent.
  2. The true solution is homogenous and transparent. The colloidal solution is heterogeneous and translucent. Suspension is heterogeneous and opaque.
  3. True solution particle size is less than 1nm. Colloidal solution particle size range between 1-1000 nm. Suspension particle size is greater than 1000nm.
  4. True solution particles are invisible with naked eyes. Colloidal solution particles are visible through an electron microscope. Suspension particles are visible with the naked eyes.
  5. The true solution does not experience the Tyndall effect and Brownian effect. Colloidal solution and suspension may or may not exhibits these effects.

Similarities between True Solution, Colloidal Solution, and Suspension

  1. Both are mixtures
  2. Both involve two or more substances
  3. Both can be separated using different methods.

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In Conclusion

Chemistry is a branch of science that involve the study of substance and their properties. These substances occur in solid, liquid, and gaseous states.

Mixtures may be miscible or immiscible. These mixtures are further grouped into true solution, colloidal solution, and suspension. These solutions have unique features and properties.

The main difference between true solution, colloidal solution, and suspension depends on the uniformity of the resulting mixture.

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