10 Homogeneous Mixture Examples in Daily Life

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The most basic chemistry lab that we come across every day is our kitchen. Just like chemistry, in our kitchen, we combine things to get desired results. For instance, when we want to enjoy the flavors of several fruits altogether, we prepare ourselves a fruit salad. In chemistry, mixture forms when two or more substances are combined together such that neither of them loses their chemical identity. Neither the already existing chemical bonds are broken, nor new ones are formed.  A homogenous mixture is a mixture in which the composition is uniform throughout the mixture. For instance, your fruit salad will be called a homogenous mixture if any scoop of it tastes the same as any other scoop. If it doesn’t taste the same, then it will be called a heterogeneous mixture of fruits. Often it is easy to confuse a homogeneous mixture with a pure substance because they both have a uniform composition. The difference is that the composition of a pure substance is always the same, whereas two different homogenous mixtures made from similar molecules can have a different composition. In chemistry, all the solutions are considered homogenous mixtures because the ratio of solute to solvent remains the same throughout the solution and the particles are not visible with the naked eye, even if homogenized with multiple sources. Let’s take a look at a few homogeneous mixtures that we come across in our daily life.

1. Air

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The term “air” generally refers to an invisible gas present around us, necessary for any life form to exist. In contrast to the reference of air as one of the four elements in ancient and medieval mythology and astrology, the air is a general term for the mixture of several gases that makes up the earth’s atmosphere. The composition of air primarily consists of nitrogen (78%), mixed with oxygen (21%), water vapor (variable), argon (0.9%), carbon dioxide (0.04%), and trace gases. Air generally belongs to the homogeneous category of mixtures; however, the composition of air is not uniform all over the planet, it can vary from location to location depending on the surroundings. For instance, the concentration of carbon dioxide is more in cities as compared to the villages. “Air is a homogeneous mixture,” this phrase generally refers to a pure sample of air that we model as a uniform (no variation or fluctuation) gas with properties that are averaged from all the individual components. Any two pure samples have precisely the same uniform composition throughout. Air typically contains dust, pollen, and spores; other contaminants are referred to as “air pollution.” The intensity of air pollution can vary throughout the planet depending upon the local habitat, weather conditions, and various life forms present there. These properties give rise to the contextual viewpoint on the homogeneity of air. Moreover, other gases than nitrogen and oxygen make only 1%  of the total composition; hence, a minute variation in those concentrations can be neglected while considering the homogeneity of air.

2. Soft-Drinks

If you visit a grocery store nowadays, you can spot an aisle full of refrigerators, mainly containing several types of soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Fanta, etc. A soft drink is any class of nonalcoholic beverage, usually but not necessarily carbonated, normally containing a sweetener and artificial or natural flavorings. Any type of soft drink is a homogeneous mixture of solids, liquids, and gas. The first sip of coca-cola tastes the same as the last, which implies that the composition of ingredients inside the bottle is uniform throughout; however, in some cases, if the bottle is left open for some time, there can be a variation in taste due to the oxidation of the drink. Nonetheless, a mixture of ice and soft drink is indeed heterogeneous, despite being the same in taste throughout the glass. The distinction here lies is that ice can be separated from the soft drink, at any point, unless it dissolves itself completely, on which the glass will again be full of a homogeneous mixture.

3. Gasoline (Petrol)

Gasoline, also known by the name petrol, is another item of daily necessity for those who own a vehicle. It is a petroleum-derived flammable liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in most spark-ignited internal combustion engines. It is a homogeneous mixture of many organic compounds, such as paraffin, olefins, and several cycloalkanes, obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum (crude oil) and enhanced by a variety of additives like ethanol. Other additives to gasoline often include detergents to reduce the buildup of engine deposits, anti-icing agents to prevent stalling caused by carburetor icing, and antioxidants (oxidation inhibitors) used to reduce “gum” formation. Petrol is also used as a solvent for many fats and oils, and therefore, it can also be used as a cleaning agent for grease stains.

4. Cooking Gas

Commonly known as a cylinder gas or cooking gas, LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) is a vividly used fuel for cooking purposes around the world. When you turn the knob of your stove, you observe a hissing sound of gas coming out of the burner. The name LPG may confuse someone that how can something be both a gas and liquid? LPG is in fact a gas, which is cooled down and liquified under a huge amount of pressure to be pumped down into the cylinders. The composition of LPG is a mixture of flammable hydrocarbon gases. Generally, a homogenous mixture of propane ({C}_{3}{H}_{8}), butane ({C}_{4}{H}_{10}), and several other hydrocarbon gases compressed together to form LPG. The homogeneity of LPG gives an indefinite shelf-life to it. Even after years, the mixture will remain homogenous and ready-to-use. However, the cylinder containing the LPG can degrade over time and become a cause of concern.

5. Wine

Wine is an alcoholic beverage generally made of grape juice. For thousands of years, wine has played a significant role in many cultures, starting with the oldest-known winery in Armenia discovered in 4100 B.C. through the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian empires up to today. The grapes from vineyards are fermented with mainly two ingredients, sugar and yeast, to produce a homogenous solution of ethanol and water, called wine. Yeast consumes the naturally occurring sugars in the grape juice t releases three components: ethanol, {CO}_{2}, and heat. The {CO}_{2} and heat escape and the ethanol remain. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different styles of wine. Many countries enact legal appellations intended to define styles and qualities of wine.

6. A Cup of Coffee

For many of us, coffee is an essential beverage of the daily routine. It provides us with a jolt of energy that stimulates us to work more efficiently. While some people enjoy their coffee with milk, others prefer to drink black coffee. Well, both the varieties fall under the category of a homogeneous mixture. Whatever your preference, you want the coffee to be the same at the beginning and the end of your drink. You don’t want the components to separate, but you want your drink to be uniform from top to bottom. Black coffee is a homogeneous mixture of roasted coffee beans and hot water that can not be physically separated once mixed. Similarly, a milk-coffee is also a homogeneous mixture of milk and black coffee as the milk gets thoroughly mixed with the black coffee. Espresso coffee, on the other hand, is not a homogeneous mixture. Although it tastes the same from beginning to end, the crema present in the espresso coffee belongs to a different class of mixtures known as emulsions.

7. Brass

Most of us are familiar with the melodic jazz produced by the brass instruments, such as trumpet, tuba, french horn, and saxophone. The acoustic properties of brass make it a preferable choice for making musical instruments. However, brass is not an individual compound but an alloy of copper and zinc. It is a homogeneous mixture in which the proportion of copper and zinc is usually 66% and 34%, respectively; these proportions can be varied to yield many different kinds of brass. It is also used to make jewelry and utensils in some cultures of the world.

8. Liquor

Liquor is a generic designation given to a recreational alcoholic beverage around the world. While buying a bottle of liquor, a customer determines the potency of it by the V/V or W/W label present on the bottle. This label tells the ratio of the alcohol content to the water. For instance, 42.8% V/V is a measure that 42.8 ml of alcohol mixed with 100 ml of water. Liquor is basically a homogeneous mixture of distilled spirits and additional flavorings such as sugar, fruits, herbs, and spices. The composition of water and alcohol remains the same throughout the bottle. Examples of liquors include brandy, vodka, baijiu, shōchū, soju, gin, rum, tequila, mezcal, and whisky.

9. Cement

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Cement is one of the most necessary ingredients in infrastructure construction. It is a binding substance used for construction that sets, hardens, and adheres to other materials to bind them together. Cement is seldom used on its own, but rather to bind sand and gravel (aggregate) together. The chemical composition of cement mainly includes a homogeneous mixture of the oxides of calcium, aluminum, silicon, iron, and sulfur. When water is added to cement, it yields a sub-microscopic crystal or gel-like material that has a high surface area and extensive adhesion properties that hold the sand and gravel together to form concrete.

10. Vinegar

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Vinegar is another most common homogeneous mixture that one can come across in their kitchen. It is an aqueous solution of acetic acid and trace amounts of other chemicals that provide flavor to the vinegar. Typically 5-8% acetic acid is homogeneously mixed with water to make vinegar. Depending on the source material, vinegar in the market comes in several types with distilled white vinegar that looks like clear water being the most common type. Other types of vinegar include apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, malt vinegar, etc. Vinegar is most commonly used in cooking to provide a sour taste, acidic flavoring, and for preparing pickles.

 

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