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Difference Between Compound and Mixture

Compound vs Mixture

All physical objects are made up of matter, the substance that occupies space and has weight. Everything that can be seen or touched is called matter. It is classified as elements, compound or mixture.

An element is one of the more than one hundred fundamental substances consisting of atoms that constitute matter. It is an ingredient or component that makes up a compound or a mixture.

A compound is the chemical union of separate elements, ingredients, or parts. It is when the different elements of matter, like atoms and ions, combine together in fixed proportions. The elements do not retain their individual properties and it would take a large amount of energy to separate its components.

A mixture is the union of two or more different materials wherein no chemical reaction takes place. There is no chemical bonding between any of the ingredients. The individual components of a mixture retain their own properties and can be separated back into their original elements. In a mixture, the molecules of two or more substances are mixed to form alloys, solutions, suspensions and colloids.

When a compound is formed, energy is given off or absorbed but when a mixture is formed, no energy is given off or absorbed. Mixtures can be created by mechanical means, while the creation of a compound is dependent on a chemical reaction.

It will also need a chemical reaction to separate the constituents of a compound, whereas the constituents of a mixture can be separated through a physical process.  Mixtures can be separated through the process of evaporation, filtering or the use of a magnetic force.

The physical and chemical properties of a compound are different from its constituent elements. Its particles are of the same kind and are homogeneous.

The physical properties of a mixture are similar to its constituent elements and its chemical properties are the result of the substances that they are made of. Its particles are of different kinds and may or may not be homogeneous.

An example of a compound is pure water, a combination of hydrogen and oxygen in fixed proportion. Another example is table salt. It is made by combining the elements sodium and chlorine, two elements that can be harmful on their own. When sodium chloride (salt) is dissolved in water to form brine, it becomes a mixture.

The two substances or mixture can then be separated through distillation or crystallization. Other examples of mixtures are air (mixture of gases) and brass (mixture of copper and zinc).


1. In a compound, there is chemical union between the elements, while there is no chemical reaction or bonding between elements in a mixture.
2. The compositions of a compound are fixed, while the compositions of a mixture are variable.
3. The components of a compound do not retain their individual properties, while the components of a mixture retain their individual properties.
4. To separate the components of a compound would need large inputs of energy, while the components of a mixture can be separated easily.
5. A compound can be created through chemical reaction, while a mixture can be created through mechanical means.

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