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PROTECTIVE COLLOIDS

Lyophobic sols such as those of metals are not very stable. they coagulate readily on the addition of electrolyte. this poses a big problem in their storage and usage.

It has been observed that in the presence of certain lyophilic colloids such as gelatin, starch etc., the hydrophobic sols acquire greater stability and do not get coagulted easily on the addition of electrolyte. The process of protecting a lyophobic sol from being coagulated on the addition of electrolyte by the use of lyophilic colloids is called protection and the lyophilic colloids used for this purpose are called PROTECTIVE COLLOIDS.

The mechanism of protection is not very clearly understood. but it is believed that the lyophilic colloid particles get adsorbed on the surface of the colloid particles present in lyophobic sols. the adsorbed lyophilic sol particles then form an envelop around the lyophobic sol particles and protect them from the action of electrolytes i.e. coagulation.

The protective power of a lyophilic colloid is usually expressed in terms of a number called gold number.


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