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New Contributor

Colloids in soil (can they "dry out")?

Hi all, this a question from the realm of soil biogeochemistry. I was wondering about the colloidal fraction of soil, a hotspot area of chemical activity within soils.

I've often read about the colloidal fraction, basically it's the subset of the smallest mineral and organic soil particles (<0.001mm).

Is this particle set always suspended in a liquid?

If so what liquid?

If it's mostly water, can that liquid "dry out" and if so are those very small particles now no longer in a liquid and hence no longer a colloid?

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New Contributor II

Re: Colloids in soil (can they "dry out")?

Since a colloid has to be something dispersed/suspended in something else (clay in water or even oil in water) then you need a dispersing "phase". Very interesting things can happen as the amount of dispersing phase decreases relative to the amount of dispersed phase.

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