What is the Difference Between Mixtures and Compounds?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Difference between mixtures and compounds: In our daily lives, we come into contact with a variety of chemicals. This might be anything from air to water to metals. The matter present around us is divided into three main categories- elements, mixtures, and compounds. Here, we will discuss the difference between mixtures and compounds.

We tend to believe that everything around us is pure and only exists in that state organically. But we never believe it to be real. Everything we observe in our environment is not pure. In reality, the majority of the things we see are made up of two or more components. These might be complex compositions. Let’s look at the difference between mixtures and compounds in further depth.

Difference Between Mixtures and Compounds

Let us check the difference between mixtures and compounds. The major differences between these two states of matter are elaborated in the table provided below.

Key Difference Between Mixtures and Compounds

Compounds Mixtures
Chemical interaction between two or more elements produces compounds.  Mixtures are created by physically combining two or more things without causing a chemical reaction between them.
Chemical or electrochemical procedures are the basic ways to separate the elements of a substance (like extraction). Physical separation methods such as filtration can be used to separate mixtures into their constituents. As a result, separating mixtures is less difficult than separating chemical molecules.
Physical separation of compounds is impossible; instead, sophisticated chemical procedures are required to separate the components. Physical separation of mixtures is possible via physical techniques.
A compound’s melting and boiling points are always known. A mixture’s melting and boiling points aren’t specified.
Compounds are homogeneous in nature. Mixtures are homogeneous as well as heterogeneous. 
Compounds have fixed chemical composition. Mixtures have variable chemical compositions.
Examples- Alcohol, water, petrol, sodium chloride, etc. Examples- sugar and water, salt and water, etc. 

What are Compounds?

When two or more chemical elements are linked together, the product is a compound. Sodium chloride (NaCl, a common salt used everywhere), sodium (commonly found in manufacturing paper, soap, glass, and photography).

A compound is manufactured when two or more components react chemically and mix in a predetermined ratio. Compounds are represented by a chemical formula that specifies the proportions in which the constituents have come together to produce the compound. Molecular compounds and salts are examples of compounds. The properties of compounds are mentioned below.

  • When a compound is produced, some of the qualities of the constituent elements are lost, and the compound gains additional properties not found in the constituent elements.
  • A compound is formed when elements mix chemically.
  • During the production of a compound, there occurs an energy shift.
  • When compared to their constituent elements, the compounds may have different melting and boiling points.
  • Physical separation of compounds is impossible; instead, sophisticated chemical procedures are required to separate the components.

What are Mixtures?

Mixtures are compounds that are made up of two or more separate ingredients. They can be separated through physical techniques. Examples include salt and water mixtures, sugar and water mixtures, different gases, air, and so forth. A mixture is obtained when we combine two things in such a way that there is no chemical reaction between them. 

A mixture is created when two or more substances are combined in such a way that they do not change chemically and keep all of their qualities. Homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures are the two types of mixtures that are commonly used. The properties of mixtures are mentioned below.

  • Mixtures retain their original physical properties.
  • The components of mixtures are not fixed in quantity.
  • It can be separated only by physical means.


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