Colloidal State Topics  

   

Colligative Properties of Colloidal Solutions

Colloidal solutions exhibit colligative properties, i.e., lowering of vapour pressure, elevation in boiling point, depression in freezing point and osmotic pressure in the same way as the true solutions of electrolytes and non-electrolytes do. However, the magnitudes of these properties for colloidal solutions are much smaller than those obtained for true solutions. This is because colloidal particles exist as aggregates. For a given mass of the substance, the number of colloidal particles present in the colloidal solution of the substance will be much less than the number of particles present in its true solutions. Since a colligative property depends upon the number of particles, a colloidal solution will exhibit much lower value of a colligative property as compared to that exhibited by a true solution having the same mass of the same substance. 

As colloidal solutions have low values of colligative properties, it is quite difficult to measure then accurately. However, they exhibit measurable osmotic pressures. The osmotic pressures of colloidal solutions can be measured with a reasonable degree of accuracy. This property is used for the determination of the average molecular masses of the colloids. 
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