What are lyophilic and lyophobic sols?
Question:

What are lyophilic and lyophobic sols? Give one example of each type. Why are hydrophobic sols easily coagulated?

Solution:

(i) Lyophilic sols:

Colloidal sols that are formed by mixing substances such as gum, gelatin, starch, etc. with a suitable liquid (dispersion medium) are called lyophilic sols. These sols are reversible in nature i.e., if two constituents of the sol are separated by any means (such as evaporation), then the sol can be prepared again by simply mixing the dispersion medium with the dispersion phase and shaking the mixture.

(ii) Lyophobic sols:

When substances such as metals and their sulphides etc. are mixed with the dispersion medium, they do not form colloidal sols. Their colloidal sols can be prepared only by special methods. Such sols are called lyophobic sols. These sols are irreversible in nature. For example: sols of metals.

Now, the stability of hydrophilic sols depends on two things- the presence of a charge and the salvation of colloidal particles. On the other hand, the stability of hydrophobic sols is only because of the presence of a charge. Therefore, the latter are much less stable than the former. If the charge of hydrophobic sols is removed (by addition of electrolytes), then the particles present in them come closer and form aggregates, leading to precipitation.

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