Compound vs. Mixture

The difference between compound and mixture and compound is that in the mixture, different elements are united together physically not having chemical bonds while in any proportion compounds, particles are united together by certain chemical bonds in a specific proportion.

Compound vs. Mixture
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The universe is composed of matter, and there are three major forms of matter. Element, compound and mixture. An element is a pure material made up of atoms and molecules of similar type while mixtures and compounds are made up of more than one elements. In mixtures, elements of two or more than types are united physically in any quantity. They do not have any specific ratio. While in compounds, elements of two or more than two types are united by certain chemical bonds. They are joined together in a certain specific ratio which cannot be changed.

The composition of the mixture is not fixed. It may vary. While that of the compound is fixed. If that composition is changed, the compound will be changed to another compound. Thus the mixture is not a pure thing while the compound is a pure thing.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The particles forming a mixture retain their original properties because they are physically bonded while the particles forming a compound lose their original properties because chemical bonds between them change their chemical nature.

The mixtures do not have any defined melting and boiling points.  It depends upon the types of particles present in them while compounds have well-defined boiling and melting points independent of the melting and boiling points of their constituents.

When elements join physically to form a mixture, no new thing is formed. But when elements join chemically to form a compound, a new thing comes into existence.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Mixtures are able to be separated easily by simple physical methods. While compounds are not able to be separated and if their constituents are required to be separated, specific chemical methods are adopted.

Mixtures are divided into 5 types, i.e. homogeneous mixtures, heterogeneous mixtures, colloid, solution and suspension. While compounds are divided into groups on the basis of the presence of bond between its constituent. It may be an ionic bond, covalent bond and metallic bond.

The properties of mixtures are not determined. They depend upon the quantity and proportion of their constituents. While the properties of compounds are determined.

Mixtures cannot be given a chemical formula while compounds have their unique chemical formulas.

During the formation of the mixture, no energy is required, and no heat change occurs while during the formation of compounds, energy is either released or absorbed and surrounding temperature either decreases or increases depending upon either it is an exothermic or endothermic chemical reaction.

Examples of mixtures can be given as a normal saline solution (sodium chloride and water) and glucose in water or metal alloys. While examples of compounds can be given as carbon dioxide(CO2) , methane gas(CH4) or ammonia gas (NH3).

Comparison Chart

Basis Mixtures Compounds
Union of elements. In mixtures, elements are united together physically. In compounds, elements are united together by certain chemical bonds.
Ratio of elements No specific ratio of elements in them. The specific ratio of elements in them.
Chemical formula They cannot be given a chemical formula. They are allotted a specific chemical formula.
Melting and boiling points They do not have defined melting and boiling points. They have defined melting and boiling points irrespective of the melting n boiling points of their constituents.
Separation of constituents They are able to be separated easily. They cannot be separated easily and require chemical methods for the separation of their constituents.
Purity A mixture can never be pure. A compound is a pure entity.
Composition They do not have a fixed composition. They have always a fixed composition.
Subtypes They are divided into 5 subtypes. They are divided into 3 subtypes.
Heat change and energy requirement No energy requirement during their formation, so no change in heat occurs. They either release or absorb energy during their formation, so temperature either raises or falls.
Properties Their properties are not determined. Their properties are always determined.
New thing When elements join physically, no new thing is formed. When elements join chemically, always a new thing is formed.
Examples Normal saline, sea water, water in glucose, 2 powders mixed together. Carbon dioxide, ammonia gas, methane, propane etc.

What is a Compound?

Compounds are the substances in which their constituent particles are joined together via certain chemical bonds in specific ratios so that a new entity comes into existence.  They have their defined boiling and melting points and other chemical or physical properties.

They are divided into 3 subtypes depending upon the nature of chemical bonds between their constituent elements. These bonds may be

Covalent Bond

The chemical bond in which sharing of the pair of an electron between two atoms occur.

Ionic Bond

A chemical bond in which valence electrons transmit from one atom to another atom.

Metallic Bond

A bond which is formed due to the electrostatic force of attraction between the ions of two metals.

What is a Mixture?

Mixtures are substances in which two or more than two elements are joined together physically and not by chemical bonds. These elements can be mixed in any proportion. Thus mixture is not a pure entity. They do not have certain specific boiling, and melting points and particles forming them are liable to be separated easily using simple techniques or physical methods like filtration, sedimentation, centrifugation, boiling, etc.


Mixtures can be divided into 5 subtypes, i.e. homogenous mixtures, heterogeneous mixtures, solution, suspension and colloid.

Homogeneous Mixture

Homogenous mixtures are those in which their constituent particles are equally distributed all over the solution. Their examples can be given as when alcohol is mixed in water, or solution of sugar in water.

Heterogeneous Mixture

A heterogeneous mixture is those in which its constituent particles are not uniformly distributed over the solution. Their examples can be given as when oil is mixed in water or a mixture of sulphur with iron powder.

Apart from these types, mixtures can also further be classified into 3 types. These are


These are the mixtures having particles of nano size. Their constituent particles are of less than 1nm. For example a mixture of oxygen in the water.


These are the mixtures which are too small to be visible through the naked eye, but the size of their particles range between 1nm to 1mm. Their examples can be given as blood, smoke and cream.


They are the mixtures whose particles are large enough that they can be separated via centrifugation method. Their examples can be given as mud or pollutants in the air.

Key Differences between Compound and Mixture

  1. Mixtures formed due to the physical joining of two or more particles of different elements while compounds form due to chemical bonding between the atoms of two or more elements in a specific ratio.
  2. Mixtures do not have specific properties or melting and boiling points while compounds have.
  3. Particles of mixtures can be separated easily by physical methods while those of compounds require chemical techniques.
  4. No heat change occurs during the formation of mixtures while heat change occurs during the form3ation of compounds.
  5. Mixtures do not have fixed composition while compounds have a fixed composition.


The universe is composed of compounds and mixtures which are made up of different elements. They are part of our life. Since mixtures and compounds are made up of two or more elements, so they are often intermingled together. In the above article, we learned the clear difference between Compound and Mixture.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Leave a Comment