Compound vs Mixture- Definition, 12 Major Differences, Examples

Compound Definition

Compounds are those substances that are composed of many identical molecules and consist of two or more atoms from more than one element linked together by chemical bonds.

  • Compounds are of different types depending on the type of chemical bonds present in them; ionic compounds linked by ionic bonds, covalent compounds linked by covalent bonds, intermetallic compounds linked by metallic bonds, and complexes linked together by coordinate covalent bonds.
  • Different compounds have different physical and chemical properties, both of which are defined by the type of bonding between the atoms and the characteristics of the elements present.
  • A chemical compound can also be converted to other chemical compounds by interaction with a second compound via a chemical reaction.
  • Chemical reactions involve the breaking of previous bonds and the formation of new ones in order to form a new compound.
  • Molecules composed of the atoms of the same elements are not compounds and are just termed as molecules.
  • More than 35000 chemical substances have been registered throughout the world for production and use.
  • Chemical compounds are defined by the presence of two or more different types of atoms present in a fixed stoichiometric proportion. The proportion remains the same irrespective of the source and method of preparation.
  • These compounds are represented by chemical formulas, which give information about the atoms present in the compound and their proportions.
  • The physical and chemical characteristics of chemical compounds can be completely different from that of the elements present in them.
  • The atoms in a compound cannot be physically separated and require complex chemical means.
Compound vs Mixture
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Mixture Definition

Mixtures are substances made up of two or more different substances that are not chemically combined and do not undergo chemical change.

  • The substances in a mixture are physically combined, and their individual identities are retained within the mixture.
  • The chemical substances present in mixtures can be elements or compounds with their own chemical properties due to the lack of chemical bonding.
  • The mixture can either be homogenous or heterogeneous, depending on the constituents of the mixture. 
  • Homogenous mixtures consist of two or more substances that are mixed in a way that the constituents cannot be observed by simple physical means.
  • Heterogeneous mixtures are the mixtures where the constituents can be seen as separate entities as these are just mechanically mixed and do not undergo chemical change.
  • The composition of the components of a mixture is not fixed and can change depending on the source and method of preparation.
  • Since the components of a mixture are only physically combined, these can be separated by physical means like filtration.
  • Mixtures can be further classified on the basis of the size of the particles present in the mixture; suspensions, solutions, and colloids.
  • Suspensions are mixtures that are heterogeneous and exhibit the Tyndall effect. The size of the particles are large enough and be easily separated by centrifugation and decantation.
  • Solutions are mixtures consisting of nanoparticles that are less than 1 nm in diameter. The particles cannot be separated by decantation or other simpler physical methods.
  • Colloids are mixtures consisting of particles ranging in size between 1 nm to 1 mm. colloid solutions also exhibit the Tyndall effect, and the particles can be separated by decantation and centrifugation.

12 Key Differences (Compound vs Mixture)

Characteristics Compound Mixture
Definition Compounds are those substances that are composed of many identical molecules and consist of two or more atoms from more than one element linked together by chemical bonds. Mixtures are substances made up of two or more different substances that are not chemically combined and do not undergo chemical change.
Composition The composition of the elements in the compound is fixed. The composition of the elements in the mixture is variable.
Chemical bonding The constituents are linked together by chemical bonds. No chemical bonding is present between the constituents in a mixture.
Nature Compounds are homogenous in nature. Mixtures can be heterogeneous or homogenous in nature.
Properties The physical and chemical properties of the compound can be different from that of the elements present within it. Physical and chemical properties of the mixture depending on the type of substance and the quantity.
Components Components of a compound do not exhibit their individual identity. Components of a mixture exhibit their own characteristics.
Separation Components of a compound cannot be physically separated. Components of a mixture can be physically separated.
Formula Compounds are designated with specific formulas which depend on the components. Mixtures are not designated with the chemical formula.
Substances New substances are formed due to the chemical mixing of the substances. No new substances are formed from the mixtures as the properties of the constituents remain unchanged.
Melting and Boiling Point Compounds have a fixed melting and boiling point. Mixtures do not have a fixed melting or boiling point.
Heat Change The formation of compounds involves a heat change as energy is used or released. No change in heat is involved during the preparation of a mixture.
Examples Water, carbon dioxide, ammonia are some examples of compounds. Smog, milk, sand, and water, etc., are some examples of mixtures.

Examples of Compound

Water

  • Water is a compound composed of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen.
  • The ratio of hydrogen and oxygen in water is 2:1, and it remains fixed within the compound.
  • The property of water is unique to hydrogen and oxygen as it can exist in all solid, liquid, and gaseous states, unlike the components that exist only in the gaseous state.
  • The bonding between hydrogen and oxygen atom is a covalent bond, and different molecules of water can exist in intermolecular and intramolecular hydrogen bonding.
  • The hydrogen and oxygen in a water molecule cannot be separated physically by simpler means.
  • Water covers about 70% of the Earth’s surface, and it has multiple purposes for all living organisms.
  • The components of water do not have their individual identities in the compound. The molecules are homogeneously distributed throughout the compound.

Examples of Mixture

Crude Oil

  • Crude oil, also known as petroleum, is a naturally occurring liquid consisting of various petroleum products that can be refined into fuels.
  • The components of petroleum are mixed together mechanically, and these are mostly hydrocarbons of various molecular weights.
  • Crude oil can be extracted from geological formations beneath the Earth’s surface by various means.
  • The petroleum products mixed in petroleum can be separated by different means like fractional distillation.
  • Crude oil also contains some natural gas dissolved in it that, when extracted out from the ground, can diffuse into the air.
  • The hydrocarbons in crude oil include alkanes, cycloalkanes, and organic compounds containing nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur.

References and Sources

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