What are some methods of separating heterogeneous mixtures?

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mixtures are made by mixing various components. The resultant mixture may have a uniform composition or a non-uniform composition. The mixtures that have a uniform composition are known as homogeneous mixtures, while the mixtures with non-uniform composition are known as heterogeneous mixtures. Air is a homogeneous mixture, while trail mix is a non-homogeneous or heterogeneous mixture. 

There are a number of ways of separating a heterogeneous mixture. The most obvious way is the manual separation of individual components. For example, we can separate out individual components of trail mix (such as raisins, dry fruits, nuts, etc.) manually. If some components are magnetic, they can be separated by using electromagnets, that is, a magnetic separation. Centrifugation can also be used to separate out components. Filtering the mixture through various filter layers (or sieves) can also separate out various components. The flotation process is another option.

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