The key difference between solution and suspension is that the particles of a solution are invisible to the naked eye whereas the particles of the suspension are visible.
In the natural environment, most of the substances exist as mixtures (E.g. air, water). In a mixture, there are two or more substances, but they do not join with each other by chemical means. Mixtures show different physical or chemical properties than the individual substances. Solutions, suspensions, and colloids are examples for mixtures.
What is Solution?
Solution is a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances. We name it a homogenous mixture because the composition is uniform throughout the solution. The components of a solution are mainly of two types such as solutes and the solvent. The solvent dissolves the solutes and forms a uniform solution. Therefore, normally solvent amount is higher than the solute quantity.
All the particles in a solution have the size of a molecule or an ion; we cannot see these particles from the naked eye. The solutions can have a colour if the solvent or the solutes can absorb visible light. However, solutions are typically transparent. Solvents may occur in a liquid, gaseous or solid state. Most common solvents are liquids. Among liquids, we consider water as a universal solvent, because it can dissolve many substances than any other solvent. We dissolve gas, solid or any other liquid in liquid solvents.
In gaseous solvents, we dissolve only gas solutes. There is a limit to the number of solutes that we may add to a certain amount of solvent. The solution becomes saturated if the maximum amount of the solute is added to the solvent. If there is a very low amount of solutes, the solution is in a diluted state, and if there is a high amount of solutes in the solution, we call it a concentrated solution. Therefore, by measuring the concentration of a solution, we can get an idea about the number of solutes in the solution.
What is Suspension?
The suspension is a heterogeneous mixture of substances (E.g., muddy water). There are two components in the suspension such as the dispersed material and the dispersion medium. There are larger solid particles (dispersed material) that distribute throughout the dispersion medium. The medium may occur as a liquid, gas or a solid.
Moreover, if we allow suspension to stand still for some time, the particles get to settle down to the bottom of the container. However, by mixing it, the suspension forms again. Therefore, the particles in the suspension are visible to the naked eye, and through filtration, we can easily separate those particles. Because of the larger particles, the suspensions tend to be opaque, and not transparent.
What is the Difference Between Solution and Suspension?
Solutions and suspensions are two forms of mixtures. The key difference between solution and suspension is that the particles of a solution are invisible to the naked eye whereas the particles of the suspension are visible. As another important difference between solution and suspension, a solution is a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances while a suspension is a heterogeneous mixture of substances.
Furthermore, dispersion of solutes in the solvent is uniform in solutions whereas it is not uniform in suspensions. The particle size of solutions is less than 1 nanometer while in suspensions it is more than 1000 nanometers. Moreover, solutions are transparent, but suspensions are opaque.
The below infographic on difference between solution and suspension shows more differences between these two forms of mixtures.
Summary – Solution vs Suspension
Solutions and suspensions are two forms of mixtures. However, the key difference between solution and suspension is that the particles of a solution are invisible to the naked eye whereas the particles of the suspension are visible.