Every human being has blood in their body. So does other mammals. Blood is a super important part of our body that transport various things to keep our body function well.
When we’re talking about human blood, it’s a red, thick liquid in the body that runs through the arteries and veins. It transports oxygen and nutrients to the cells. It transport the waste to the liver and kidney. And it also regulates the body temperature.
Now, if you have been to the hospital or laboratory, you might have seen blood in the tubes and you might be wondering, what kind of matter blood is.
Is blood an element, compound, or mixture?
Blood is a mixture that consists of various compounds. Those compounds combine physically, NOT chemically, thus it’s considered a mixture rather than a compound.
Is blood a homogeneous or heterogeneous mixture?
Well, that’s an interesting question!
This article will talk about why blood is a mixture and why it is considered heterogeneous instead of homogeneous.
So, keep on reading and keep on learning!
What Is Blood Composed Of?
Human blood is neither a pure substance nor an element.
Blood consists of various things, each of them are super important component for our body.
Blood is composed of:
- Plasma (the ‘liquid’). It’s the main component of blood (around 55%). Plasma itself has water (about 90%), salt, protein, ion, nutrients, waste, and dissolved gas in it.
- Red blood cells (RBC). RBC contains hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen. Hemoglobin carries heme (C34H32FeN4O4) which is red in color.
- White blood cells (WBC). WBC mainly functions in the immune system; fighting viruses, bacteria, and other foreign substances inside our body.
- Platelet. Platelet contains granules that are able to secrete substances useful for wound healing.
Blood consists of a HUGE number of compounds that bond physically. RBC, WBC, and platelets are the solid parts and plasma is the liquid part.
Is Blood A Compound or A Mixture?
Blood is a mixture, not a compound. Blood do consists of various types of atoms. Those atoms bond chemically to become a compound and those compound combine physically to form blood.
Mixture VS Compound
Mixture and compounds both consists of more than 1 type of elements. The difference is the bond between the constitutents.
In mixture, the constituent elements or compounds combine together physically, without no chemical bond.
On the contrary, in compound, the elements combine in a chemical bond.
Blood is a mixture because the compounds inside of it bond physically. Because they have no chemical bond, you can separate a blood sample using a physical reaction.
Blood consists of plasma (which consists of water, salt, and protein),
So, why is blood a mixture?
Blood is a mixture because it consists of various compounds that bond PHYSICALLY rather than chemically. So it’s a mixture and it cannot be considered a compound.
Why is Blood A Heterogeneous Mixture?
Blood is heterogeneous, not homogenous because it is actually not the same throughout.
When you see a blood sample in the laboratory, that red thing might look so uniform at glance. But actually, when you look closely using a microscope, blood is not the same throughout. You can see the components of blood ‘scattered’ rather than being ‘uniform’. Hence, blood is considered heterogeneous instead of homogeneous.
Homogeneous Mixture VS Heterogenous Mixture
There are two kinds of mixture: homogeneous and heterogeneous.
When a mixture looks very same throughout the sample (the components are distributed evenly), it’s homogeneous. When a mixture is physically separated or when the components are not distributed in a uniform way, it’s heterogeneous.
Some examples of homogeneous mixtures are vinegar, apple juice, and steel.
Some examples of heterogeneous mixtures are a bowl of cereal, a glass of water and ice, and an orange juice with pulps.
Sometimes a heterogeneous mixture mimics a homogeneous mixture at glance. To prove it, you can pick a sample and put it under a microscope.
Blood might look homogeneous to the naked eye. But when you look at it under a microscope, you can see that the distribution of blood components is not uniform throughout the sample. Hence, blood is considered heterogeneous instead of homogeneous.