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Question Video: Giving Examples of Solid Aerosols Chemistry

Which of the following substances or phenomena is an example of a solid aerosol, a solid dispersed through a gas? [A] Mist [B] Fog [C] Paint [D] Air [E] Smoke

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Video Transcript

Which of the following substances or phenomena is an example of a solid aerosol, a solid dispersed through a gas? (A) Mist, (B) fog, (C) paint, (D) air, or (E) smoke.

The key phrase in the question is solid aerosol, which, thankfully, has already been defined. It’s a solid dispersed through a gas. Dispersed here means spread out. Here we have a box that contains a lump of solid surrounded by gas. The solid is concentrated in one lump. It’s not dispersed. Instead, we’re looking for tiny particles of solid spread throughout the gas.

Now, let’s look at our five options and see which one matches. Mist consists of fine droplets of water suspended in air, while fog is exactly the same thing but much denser, so you can’t see as far. Water under these conditions will be a liquid not a solid. So we’re dealing with a liquid aerosol and not a solid aerosol, so these are not correct answers. Meanwhile, paints usually consist of solid particles of pigment suspended in oil or water. So paints are solid–liquid mixtures, and they may be colloids or suspensions. Either way, the dispersion medium for paint is not a gas. It’s a liquid, so paint is not a correct answer.

The fourth option, air, is a mixture of many different gases. So we consider this a gas mixture, although you could call it a gas solution because there’s a lot more nitrogen than the other gases. Air is not a correct answer because there’s no solid dispersed through it. We’d have to have dusty air or smoky air for it to work. And lastly, we have smoke, which consists of fine particles produced from combustion dispersed in air. So out of these five options, the only one that’s an example of a solid aerosol, which is a solid dispersed through a gas, is smoke.

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