Application of Colloids
(1) Purification of water by alum (coagulation) : Alum which yield ions, is added to water to coagulate the negatively charged clay particles.
(2) In rubber and tanning industry (coagulation and mutual coagulation) : Several industrial processes such as rubber plating, chrome tanning, dyeing, lubrication etc are of colloidal nature
(i) In rubber platting, the negatively charged particles of rubber (latex) are made to deposit on the wires or handle of various tools by means of electrophoresis. The article on which rubber is to be deposited is made anode.
(ii) In tanning the positively charged colloidal particles of hides and leather are coagulated by impregnating, them in negatively charged tanning materials (present in the barks of trees). Among the tanning agent chromium salts are most commonly used for the coagulation of the hide material and the process is called chrome tanning.
(3) Artificial rains : It is possible to cause artificial rain by throwing the electrified sand or silver iodide from an aeroplane and thus coagulating the mist hanging in air.
(4) Smoke precipitation (Coagulation) : Smoke is a negative sol consisting of carbon particles dispersed in air. Thus, these particles are removed by passing through a chamber provided with highly positively charged metallic knob.
(5) Formation of deltas (coagulation) : River water consists of negatively charged clay particles of colloidal dimension. When the river falls into the sea, the clay particles are coagulated by the positive ions etc. present in sea water and new lands called deltas are formed.
(6) Clot formation : Blood consists of negatively charged colloidal particles (albuminoid substance). The colloidal nature of blood explains why bleeding stops by applying a ferric chloride solution to the wound. Actually ferric chloride solution causes coagulation of blood to form a clot which stops further bleeding.
(7) Colloidal medicine : Argyrol and protargyrol are colloidal solution of silver and are used as eye lotions colloidal sulphur is used as disinfectant colloidal gold, calcium and iron are used as tonics.
(8) Coating of Photographic plates : These are thin glass plates coated with gelatin containing a fine suspension of silver bromide. The particles of silver bromide are colloidal in nature.