Difference Between Compound and Mixture

Compound vs Mixture

There are several interesting concepts in chemistry that are actually found and applied in our daily lives, since more than the intricacy of the breakdown and build up of certain chemical particles is the very fact that matter—which chemistry deals with—is what makes up most of the physical and tangible part of human life. We have technology, health, education and so many other fields where chemistry plays a major role: for example, procedures as important as the production of certain food and discovery of medicine to cure and prevent ailments all have chemistry in them. One recurring chemistry concept in nature and human life is the presence of chemical compounds and mixtures. Let’s take a look at these.

Chemical compound

A chemical compound is a pure material made out of a combination of two or more chemical elements that have been bonded through chemical procedures. Unlike an element, which is quite basic and simple because it is made up of only an atom and electrons, a chemical compound is more complex. How this complexity has come to be can be effectively illustrated or symbolized through chemical formulas. There are different kinds of bonding that can be done to create a compound: ionic, which forms salts, covalent, which forms molecular compounds and metallic, which forms inter-metallic compounds. Depending on the temperature in which they are exposed to, chemical compounds can take the form of solids, liquids or gases. Examples of common place compounds are table salt and water.

Chemical mixture

On the other hand, a chemical mixture is considered to be impure substance. What make it different from a compound is that a compound or pure substance contains constant composition; furthermore, chemical mixtures can be both created and separated physically and simply do not require chemical processes. Therefore, the identity of each substance in a mixture is retained and not altered. Mixtures can either be homogenous or heterogeneous. A mixture can also be classified as either one of the following: alloy, a solid combination of one or more elements, suspension, a fluid containing tiny solid bits, or colloids. Examples of some of the most popular mixtures found in the household include milk and dishwashing liquid.

Difference between Chemical Compound and Mixture

Perhaps the main difference between a chemical compound and the chemical mixture is the fact that chemical mixtures can easily be separated and segregated into their individual substances. In dividing compounds, a lot of energy is required to be able to execute certain chemical processes, while in mixtures one only has to be able to determine how to physically separate them in terms of their density, solubility and size.


Although quite synonymous, a compound (pure substance) and a mixture (impure substance) still are quite different in terms of manner of composition or separation. It is also interesting to note how common both are in terms of our everyday lives, as it turns out there are many compounds and mixtures that we consume and use as food, cleansing tools and others.