Difference Between Compound and Solution

Compound vs Solution

Compound and solutions are mixtures of elements or other compounds. The single elements are hardly stable under natural conditions. They form various combinations between them or with other elements in order to exist. When this happens, the properties of single elements vary and give rise to novel-to-novel mixtures.


Compounds are a chemical substance made up by two or more different chemical elements. Combinations of two or more of the same chemical elements are not considered as compounds. For example, diatomic molecules like O2, H2, N2 or polyatomic molecules like P4 are not considered as compounds, but they are considered as molecules. NaCl, H2O, HNO3, and C6H12O6 are some examples of common compounds. Therefore, compounds are a subset of molecules. The elements in a compound are joined by covalent bonds, ionic bonds, metallic bonds, etc. The structure of the compound gives the number of atoms in the compound and their ratios. In a compound, elements are present in a definite proportion. We can find these details easily by looking at a chemical formula of a compound. Compounds are stable, and they have a characteristic shape, color, properties, etc.


A solution is a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances. It is called a homogenous mixture, because the composition is uniform throughout the solution. The components of a solution are mainly of two types, solutes and the solvent. Solvent dissolves the solutes and form a uniform solution. Therefore, normally solvent amount is higher than the solute quantity. All the particles in a solution have the size of a molecule or an ion, so they cannot be observed by the naked eye. The solutions can have a color if the solvent or the solutes can absorb visible light. However, solutions are typically transparent. Solvents can be in a liquid, gaseous or solid state. Most common solvents are liquids. Among liquids, water is considered as a universal solvent, because it can dissolve many substances than any other solvent. Gas, solid or any other liquid solute can be dissolved in liquid solvents. In gas solvents, only gas solutes can be dissolved. There is a limit to the amount of solutes that can be added to a certain amount of solvent. The solution is said to be saturated, if the maximum amount of the solute is added to the solvent. If there is a very low amount of solutes, the solution is diluted, and if there is a high amount of solutes in the solution, it is a concentrated solution. By measuring the concentration of a solution, we can get an idea about the amount of solutes in the solution.


What is the difference between Compound and Solution?

  • In a compound, two or more elements are chemically bound together. However, in a solution, there are few substances that do not chemically bound together as compounds do (molecules or compounds in a solution may have weak interactions between them, but it is different from the chemical binding of elements in compounds).
  • In a compound, elements are present in defined ratio, but in a solution, the components in it have not necessarily to be present in definite amounts.
  • The components in a solution can be separated in physical methods, but in a compound, this cannot be done. They may be separated by chemical means.
  • Compared to compounds, solutions have two phases called solutes and the solvent.