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Experiment No.

5
Colloids

Cuizon, Marc Christian


Dizon, Tristan Gabriel
Maglasang, Glenn Michael
Taotao, Anna
Group 5, Chem 14.1, WEG1, Prof. Ralph Julius Mendoza
March 18, 2009
Experiment 5 is divided into three parts. The first part is the preparation of two types of
colloids, a sol and an emulsion. The second part consists of the preparation of the Alexander’s
Patriotic Tube, which also has another type of colloidal suspension, a gel. The properties of different
colloids are also observed after their preparation by observing the Tyndall effect and the amount of
precipitation formed when added with different substances.

Keywords: colloid, sol, emulsion, dispersion, lyophilic, lyophobic, Tyndall Effect, precipitate, patriotic
tube, coagulation

Introduction B. Emulsion
1.0mL of oil was added with shaking to a
Colloids are kinds of chemical mixtures test tube containing 10mL water. It was then left
where a substance is dispersed evenly standing for 10 mins. After observing, 5mL of
throughout another. This is one advantage of concentrated soap solution was added with
colloids, because colloid particles are bigger shaking to the mixture. It was observed again.
than in a solution. They are very tiny that is why
they are easy to be dispersed evenly and thus, Part II. Alexander’s Patriotic tube
maintaining homogenous appearance. But also, 15mL of water was heated to boiling and
they are also big enough to scatter light and not agar was dissolved in it followed by 2 drops of
be dissolved. Because of these properties they 1M NaOH, a number of drops of phenolphthalein
are important not only in the field of chemistry (until it turns pink), 1mL 1M K4[Fe(CN)6]. The
but also for the development of the standards in mixture was immediately poured into a test tube
our daily living. Colloids have been of and allowed to settle into a gel after which 1mL
outstanding importance for the progress of the of 0.1 M FeCl3 was poured in the test tube. The
different products and process for a long time. test tube was corked and was left to stand for an
The experiment aims to discover the various hour.
characteristics of colloids – its properties, types
and uses in the field of chemistry through the Part III. Properties of Colloids
different procedures performed in this
experiment. A. Tyndall Effect
The solution prepared at the beginning
of the experiment, Fe(OH)3 sol, was placed in a
Experimental test tube and placed against a beam of light
coming through a small hole. The path of light
Part I. Preparation of Colloids was observed. This procedure was repeated
using different systems: the alcohol and sulfur
A. Sol solution (prepared earlier), CuSO4 sol., dilute
50mL of water was heated until it started evaporated milk, boiled starch sol., unboiled
to boil. 1M FeCl3 was added drop by drop until a starch sol. And, soap solution. Each of the
change in colour was observed. The solution systems’ results were compared using the result
was allowed to cool and was set aside. for distilled water as a negative reference.
5-mL alcohol was heated in a water bath
and a pinch of sulfur was dissolved in the B. Precipitation
alcohol. The solution was then poured with 2mL of Fe(OH)3 sol, prepared earlier,
stirring to 50-mL water. was added to three 10mL test tubes. In the first
A pinch of sulfur powder was dissolved test tube, 10 drops of 1M NaNO3 was added.
in another beaker containing 50-mL water. This Then, 10 drops of 1M Na2SO4 was added to the
solution was compared with the 5-mL alcohol second and to the third, 10 drops of 1M Na3PO4
and sulfur solution. was added. The precipitation formed in each test
tube was compared relative to one another.

Chem 14.1,Colloids Page 1 of 4


mixture. Most pure substances must be
Results separated first from other substances to obtain
them. When separating a compound from
In the preparation of the Fe(OH)3 sol, another compound, one may find it dissolved,
FeCl3 was observed to be dispersed in hot water. suspended or dispersed in another compound.
In the two sulfur solutions prepared, the When a compound is dissolved in
one with hot alcohol and the one without, the another compound, a homogenous mixture, a
sulfur did not dissolve. However, in the solution mixture having uniform properties, is obtained.
containing alcohol, the water became murky. This mixture is called a solution where the
The mixture containing oil and water was dissolved substance is a solute and the
observed to have two layers with oil forming a substance that dissolves it is a solvent.
layer above the water. While the mixture Heterogeneous mixtures on the other hand do
containing oil and soap solution was observed to not have the same composition, properties, and
have mixed into a murky substance. appearance.
In the preparation of the Alexander’s The nature of a substance affects its
Patriotic tube, four separate layers of four solubility. Polar solutes are soluble only in polar
different colours were formed, pink, white, yellow solvents and the same goes for non-polar
and blue. The different ions/compounds in the solutes. Like dissolves like.
pink gel reacted when the last reagent, FeCl3, Colloids or colloidal suspensions are on
was added. the dividing line between solutions and
In the observation of the Tyndall Effect in heterogeneous mixtures. They are mixtures that
the different systems, the following results were contain particles larger than normal solutes but
obtained: small enough to remain suspended in the
dispersing medium.
Fe(OH)3  One type of colloid, a sol, is a lyophobic
Sulfur sol  or ‘solvent-hating’ suspension of solid particles
CuSO4 sol  dispersed in either another solid or a liquid
Dilute milk ‘solvent’.

Sulfur was observed not to have
Boiled starch sol  dissolved in water because sulfur is non-polar
Unboiled starch sol  whereas water is polar. Owing to the like
Soap sol  dissolves like principle, sulfur is not soluble in
Distilled H2O  water. Instead, sulfur stays suspended at the
Table 1-Tyndall Effect bottom and at the surface of the solvent.
 -light was not scattered Alcohol, a slightly polar substance with
 -light was scattered slightly non-polar ends, dissolves in water. The
structure of the alcohol used, ethyl alcohol,
In the last part of the experiment, the three C2H5OH, is partly polar because of the
Fe(OH)3 solutions with three different precipitants hydrocarbon chain of C2H5 and it is partly non-
yielded the following observations: polar because of the hydroxyl group of OH.
When the mixture of hot alcohol and
Precipitant Precipitate sulfur was added in water, the alcohol dissolved
1M NaNO3 Least amount in water, turning the medium cloudy, while the
sulfur was left dispersed in the medium. The type
1M Na2SO4 Na3PO4> Na2SO4 > NaNO3
of colloidal dispersion formed was a sol.
1M Na3PO4 Greatest amount
An emulsion is another type of colloid
Table 2.Amount of precipitate
suspension where a liquid solute is dispersed in
a liquid or a solid medium. In the experiment, an
VI.Discussion
emulsion of a liquid substance dispersed in
another liquid was prepared.
Matter is classified as either a pure
Oil is non-polar therefore, when it was
substance or a mixture. Pure substances can
mixed with water, a polar substance, it did not
either be an element (substance made up of only
dissolve. As it has less density than water, it
one kind of atom) or a compound (a combination
forms a separate layer above the water.
of two or more elements that can only be
The soap solution that was later added,
separated chemically). On the other hand,
has both polar and non-polar ends. Its structure
mixtures are materials made by combining
contains a hydrophobic, non-polar hydrocarbon
different compounds that will not react with each
chain and also a hydrophilic, polar carboxylate
other chemically. This form of matter can be
group.
separated by physical or mechanical processes.
The oil is a pure hydrocarbon so it is
Matter on earth is often found as a

Chem 14.1,Colloids Page 2 of 4


non-polar. The non-polar hydrocarbon tail of the British physicist John Tyndall.
soap dissolves into the oil leaving the polar In the experiment, the Tyndall effect
carboxylate end of the soap molecules to stick exists only in systems that are colloidal. The
out of the oil droplets. This carboxylate group colloidal particles that are suspended or
then, dissolves into water. dispersed in the system are responsible for the
The soap solution acts as an scattering of the light.
“intermediary” between the oil and the water. It Distilled water was used as a negative
provided the polar ends for water and the non- reference because it is a pure substance that
polar ends for the oil to form an emulsion does not exhibit the Tyndall Effect.
between three substances. Colloidal particles are frequently needed
The same principle is similarly used in to be removed from the dispersing medium, as in
cleaning grease and oil from dishes. Since water the removal of butterfat from milk. But because
alone is not able to penetrate the oil or grease colloidal particles are too small, they cannot be
because of opposite polarities, soap is used in separated by simple filtration. One method of
cleaning dishes. separating colloidal particles is by coagulation,
Another type of colloid is a gel, a sol in where the colloidal particles are enlarged.
which the suspended particles are organized in a The FeCl3 sol colloid was separated
loose, but definite arrangement, giving some through three different precipitants. Due to the
rigidity and elasticity to the mixture, as in jellies. number of moles of Na and the anions from each
The Alexander’s Patriotic Tube that was precipitant, the amount of precipitate was
prepared formed four different layers of different affected. Each precipitant had the following
colours. At first, there was only a slightly alkaline reactions:
solution of agar with phenolphthalein and • FeCl3 + 3NaNO3 3NaCl + Fe(NO3)3
K4[Fe(CN)6]. The phenolphthalein, a
pH indicator, turned the substance
• 2FeCl3 + 3Na2SO4 6NaCl + Fe2(SO4)3
pink as it indicates a basic • FeCl3 + Na3PO4 3NaCl + FePO4
substance (the alkaline solution). After the reaction, the colloidal particles
FeCl3 was added after it coagulate, and precipitate out.
cooled and a separation of the
substances was evident. VI. Conclusion and Recommendations
The top layer, Fe(OH)3, was
formed as a product of the reaction Colloids are mixtures that can either be
of H2O and FeCl3. homogeneous and heterogeneous. Their solutes
The blue layer was formed are too small to be claimed as suspensions and
by the reaction of : too big to be claimed as solutions. Because of
FeCl3 + K4[Fe(CN)6]KCl + this, they could exhibit some properties similar to
Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3. suspensions and properties similar to solutions.
The 3rd, white layer was However, they can be distinguished from the two
produced when an acidic layer of HCl was for they could exhibit properties such as Tyndall
formed discharging the pink of the indicator. effect, adsorption and dispersion (caused by the
The 4th layer of pink is the remains of the bombardment due to repulsion of the molecules
original gel, which remains basic due to the of dispersed molecules having the uniform
NaOH. charges or Brownian Movement).
The ordering of each layer is due to the Suspensions can become colloids if agents such
density of the ions/compounds present in each as emulsifying agents and surfactants are
layer. introduced in the suspension. Examples are
detergents, that can make dirt, oils and fats be
Colloids exhibit properties that dispersed in water and be washed away from
distinguish them from true solutions. One clothes, and alcohol, that can disperse sulfur in
property of colloid systems is that they scatter water.
light. If a beam of light, such as that from a
flashlight, passes through a colloid, the light is
reflected (scattered) by the colloidal particles VIII. References
and the path of the light can therefore be
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a true solution there is so little scattering of the Encarta® 2009
light that the path of the light cannot be seen or
detected except by very sensitive instruments. (n.a).(n.d) Retrieved from
The scattering of light by colloids is known as the http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_
Tyndall effect which was first explained by the ions_or_compounds_responsible_for_the

Chem 14.1,Colloids Page 3 of 4


_different_colors_observed_in_Alexander
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Brown, T.L., LeMay, H.E., Jr., & Bursten, B.E.


(2000). Chemistry: The central science,
8th ed. New Jersey: Prentice – Hall, Inc.

I hereby certify that I have given substantial


contribution to this report.

_______________________
Maglasang, Glenn Michael

______________________
Taotao, Anna

______________________
Cuizon, Marc Christian

_____________________
Dizon, Gabriel Tristan

Chem 14.1,Colloids Page 4 of 4