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Difference Between Compound and Mixture

Last Updated : 28 Sep, 2022
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The matter is divided into three main types Compounds, Mixtures, and Elements. Pure substances are compounds. Impure substances are Mixtures. The key difference between compounds and mixtures is that a compound is made up of molecules, each of which is composed of two or more different types of chemically bound atoms. While the mixture is a combination of two or more elements or compounds that are combined physically rather than chemically. Let’s learn more about the differences between compounds and mixtures in this article!

Compound and Mixture


What are Mixtures?

Mixtures are substances made up of two or more different types of materials. Physical means can be used to separate them. A mixture of salt and water, a mixture of sugar and water, various gases, air, and so on are examples. 

The various components of any combination do not form as a result of any chemical changes. As a result, the components’ unique qualities are preserved. To put it another way, a mixture is what you get when you combine two things such that there is no chemical reaction between them and you can separate them again. Every component in a combination maintains its own chemical identity.

When two or more substances are mixed together such that they do not change chemically and retain all their properties, the result is said to be a mixture. We can say that substances mix up physically only and do not undergo any chemical reaction. Mixtures are broadly classified into two types: homogeneous mixtures and heterogeneous mixtures.

Properties of Mixtures 

  • All the components or substances in a mixture retain their original physical properties.
  • The mixture can be separated into its components physically by using some techniques
  • The components in a mixture may or may not be in a fixed proportion and can vary in quantity.

Some examples of mixtures, that one may find in our daily lives are Sugar and water, Salt and water, Air (mixture of gases), Salt and sugar, Sand and Water, Oil and water, etc. Sometimes we also come across such things in our environment which cannot be separated physically or which cannot be separated at all. These types of substances are known as compounds. Let us see more about compounds.

What are Compounds?

A compound is a pure material made up of two or more elements combined chemically in a set mass proportion. The creation of a compound is always the outcome of a chemical reaction. 

As a result, a compound lacks the characteristics of its individual parts. The smallest item produced after breaking down the chemical is referred to as a molecule of the substance. The chemical formula represents one molecule of a substance. The formula of a compound is a declaration of the compound’s composition, in which the symbols indicate the elements present and the subscripts represent the number of atoms in each element.

When two or more elements react chemically and combine in a fixed ratio the product formed is said to be a compound. Compounds are represented using a chemical formula that describes the ratio in which the elements have combined to form a compound. Compounds can be molecular compounds or salts.

Properties of Compounds

  • When a compound is formed, the elements lose some of their properties and the compound has new properties other than those of its constituent elements.
  • Elements combine chemically to form a compound.
  • There is a change of energy during compound formation.
  • The compounds may possess different melting and boiling points as compared to their constituent elements.
  • Compounds cannot be separated physically but require special chemical techniques to separate the elements.

Some examples of compounds, that one may find in our daily lives are Water (H2O), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Glucose (C6H12O6), Copper sulfate (CuSO4), etc.

Difference between Mixtures and Compounds

Lets now understand some major differences between mixtures and compounds:



Compounds are formed by a chemical reaction between two or more elements.  Mixtures are formed by mixing two or more substances physically such that no chemical reaction takes place between the components.  
Elements always combine in a fixed ratio by mass to form a compound.  The ratio of substances is not fixed and can be variable. 
There is a change of energy during compound formation.  No energy change takes place. 
Compounds cannot be separated physically but require special chemical techniques to separate the elements.  Mixtures can be separated physically. 
The elements lose their properties and the compound formed exhibits new physical and chemical properties.  The components of a mixture retain their original properties. 
Compounds may be organic or inorganic.  Mixtures may be homogeneous or heterogeneous. 
New bonds are formed during compound formation. The bonds may be molecular or ionic. No new bond formation takes place.
Compounds have fixed melting and boiling points.  Mixtures do not have fixed melting and boiling points. 
Examples: Sodium Chloride, Water, Sodium Chloride, Alcohol, Petrol, etc. Example: Salt and water, Sugar and Water, Air, etc.
Compounds can be considered pure substances.  Mixtures are considered impure substances. 

FAQs on Compounds and Mixtures

Question 1: What are the similarities between Compounds and Mixtures?


Following are the similarities between Compounds and Mixtures-

  • Combinations of compounds and mixtures can take any form or ratio. 
  • Both compounds and mixtures contain two or more different chemicals or components. 
  • Compounds and mixtures both share physical and chemical features. 
  • It is easy to separate the ingredients or parts of a compound or mixtures.

Question 2: What is the significance of Compounds and Mixtures?


Both Compounds and Mixtures are elemental parts of the matter. Both the chemical processes that sustain live organisms and those that regularly take place in nonliving substances need them.

Question 3: Differentiate between mixtures and compounds.




The substances in a mixture retain their original properties. The elements do not retain their properties and the product formed has new properties of its own.
The elements may or may not be in fixed ratio. The elements in a compound always combine in a fixed ratio by mass,

Question 4: Is water a compound or a mixture? Why or why not?


The chemical formula for water is H2O. This shows that 2 parts of hydrogen and 1 part of oxygen combine chemically to form water. Thus, water is a compound.

Question 5: Gold is a mixture or a compound? Give reason.


Gold is not a compound. Since, gold has no definite composition and made up of different types of atoms. So, gold is a mixture.

Question 6: Rohan said that sugar and water are a mixture while Ria says it is a compound. Who among the both is correct? Justify your answer.


 Rohan is correct as sugar and water mix together to form a mixture. They do not undergo any chemical reaction. The sugar just dissolves in the water and both of them can be physically separated using physical methods like evaporation.

Question 7: What do you mean by constituents of a mixture?


The substances that are mixed together to form a mixture are called its constituents. Example: Sugar and water are the constituents of sugar solution.

Question 8: How mixtures can be separated into its constituents?


Mixture can be separated by into its components using various physical methods of Separation of Mixtures like Filtration, Hand-picking, Threshing, Winnowing, Sieving, Sedimentation and decantation, Magnetic separation, Centrifugation, Evaporation, Distillation.

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