Differences Between Mixtures and Compounds

A mixture contains two or more substances mixed, but not chemically as well as not in indirect quantities while a compound contains two or more elements that are combined chemically and in a fixed ratio. For example, seawater, crude oil, mineral oil, alloys (copper, bronze) and so on are some mixtures, water (H2O), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), sodium chloride (NaCl), baking soda (NaHCO3) and so on are the names some compounds.

Like the classical theory of physics, anything that occupies space has a mass and volume known as matter. Even things can be classified into two classes, mixtures, and pure ingredients. Pure ingredients are made up of elements and compounds.

The elements are simple materials and cannot be broken down into simpler forms. It contains only one atom of type, but a compound has two or more different atoms or elements, on the other hand, a mixture contains different substances.

In order to highlight the differences between mixtures and compounds in this content, we will give a brief description of them.

Comparison Chart

Definition of Mixture

When we look we find many things around us are mixed, such as air, rocks, oceans, and even the atmosphere. These have mixed constituents with physical properties and not with any chemicals and not in a fixed ratio. Thus, we can say that the formation of a mixture occurs by mixing two or more substances, but not in a fixed ratio.

In a mixture there is no chemical reaction, fusion occurs physically. Thus a mixture has two or more different types of atoms or molecules, or at least one atom and one molecule. The mixture has no fixed melting or boiling point.

Mixtures can be separated by physical methods such as filtration, pouring, distillation. The mixture can be either homogeneous or heterogeneous.

Homogeneous Mixture

This is considered a true solution, as the constituents present in this type are equal or evenly distributed. For example sugar solution, mixture of alcohol and water, etc.

Heterogeneous mixture

When the constituents are not evenly distributed in a mixture, it is known as a heterogeneous mixture. For example, oil and water when mixed, a mixture of sulfur and iron, gravel, etc.

Apart from the above two things, the mixture will be classified based on the type of particle size found in it. These are solutions, suspensions, colloids.


This contains nano size particles, which are less than 1nm in diameter. The solution cannot be separated by the pouring method or the centrifuge method. Oxygen dissolved in water, air, gelatin are some examples.


In this solution, the particles are so small, that these cannot be seen through the naked eye, the particle size varies from 1nm to 1mm. The colloidal solution shows the Tyndall effect, the colloidal constituents can be separated by the process of casting and centrifugation. Blood, smoke, cream are some examples.


This is a kind of heterogeneous nature, they also show the Tyndall effect. These particles are quite large and can be separated by centrifugation or casting. Mud, granite, dust or pollutants in the air a little for example.

Definition of Compound

When two or more atoms of different elements are combined chemically to form a bond called a compound. It is a chemical mixture between different elements or elements. When bond formation occurs, the new compound forms chemical properties that are different from the components from which it is made.

For example, water (H2O), ethanol (C2H5OH), sodium chloride (NaCl), are part of common compounds, they are made up of a certain proportion of their elements and have a chemical identity as well. The different types of bonds are molecular, acid, cation, anion and binary bonds. All of these have different identities and chemical formulas.

Key Differences Between Mixtures and Compounds

Given below are the important points that distinguish the mixture from the compound:

A mixture is an impure substance, consisting of two or more physically mixed substances and not in a fixed ratio. A compound is a pure form, consisting of two or more elements of a chemical mixture and in a constant ratio.

  • Mixtures can be homogeneous or heterogeneous, but compounds are generally homogeneous.
    As mentioned earlier, the composition of the substances present in a mixture is not in a fixed quantity, this means that the ratio varies, but in the case of elemental compounds present in a fixed quantity, this means that the ratio is fixed. Therefore, these compounds can be named and have specific chemical formulas such as Sodium Chloride (NaCl), Baking Soda, Methane, Salt, etc., but these are not the same for mixtures.
  • Since the ratio of the substances present in the mixture is not fixed and its properties are also different (not fixed) as it depends on the type of material and the quantity of the elements being mixed, whether chemical or physical properties. In compounds, new properties (physical and chemical) are retained after the formation of a new compound, and we know the quantity or ratio of the elements present in the compound.
  • Separation of the substances present in the mixture is easy by different physical methods such as filtration, chromatography, evaporation, while in the case of compounds the substances are not easily separated and performed when compared to chemical methods.
  • No new substance is formed from a mixture, due to the irreversible properties of its constituents, while there is always the formation of new substances, due to the mixing of the chemical properties of different elements.
  • No heat change or energy involvement is observed when the mixture is made, but the formation of the compound results in a heat change as energy is applied or evolved in the reaction. The mixture has no melting or boiling point, but the compound has diluted melting and boiling points.
  • Examples of mixtures are alloys such as copper, bismuth, chromium, seawater (salt and water), gas mixtures, etc., while Sodium Chloride, Baking Soda, Methane, Salt, etc.

In conclusion

The information mentioned in this article is not applicable in science, but can be observed in everyday life; therefore it is necessary to know all these terms in detail to identify and distinguish them.

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