Summary of difference between compounds and mixtures are following which help the student for proper understanding 

#SrDifferential propertiescompoundsCompounds
1DefinitionA compound contains atoms of different elements which can be formed by chemically combining two or more elements.A mixture is a combination of two or more substances that are formed by physically mixing two or more substances.
2CompositionThe ratio of the elements in compounds are always in fixed ratio in define mannerThe components in mixtures are different elements so ratio is not fixed.
3RepresentationA compound is represented using its chemical formula that represents the symbols of its constituent elements and the number of atoms of each element in one molecule of the compound.They have not chemical formulas to represent.
4PropertiesThe properties of compounds are unique to themselves and different from the properties of their components as the elements in the compounds are in fixedThe constituents of a mixture do not lose their properties and so, the properties of a mixture depend on the type of substance and quantity of substance or these are the sum of the properties of its constituents
5Mass ratioCompounds have specific mass ratios. Mixtures have a variable mass ratio depending upon number of ingredients.
6Ability to break downA compound can be separated into simpler substances by chemical or electrochemical reactions.A mixture can be separated into simpler substances by physical or mechanical methods more easily than compound.  
7NatureThey are HomogeneousThey are heterogenous
8Melting and boiling pointsThe melting and boiling points of a compound are always defined or fixed.The melting and boiling points of a mixture are not fixed.
9TypesCompounds can be of three types, which are: 1. covalent compounds 2. metallic compounds 3. ionic compounds.Mixtures are mainly of two types 1. homogenous mixtures and  2. heterogeneous mixtures.
10Heat changeEnergy is released or used during the formation of compounds.There is no involvement of energy in formation of mixture.  
11New SubstanceThey form new substanceMixture don’t form new substance as its properties depends on its constituents
12ExamplesWater (H2O), Sodium chloride (NaCl), baking soda, amalgam, vapor in air; colloids such as mayonnaise, milk, salt in water Oil and water, smog (smoke + fog), etc.

What is Compound

Compounds are substances that are atoms and different elements united together by the chemical bond. The chemical bond in compounds can be covalent or ionic or metallic. The elements in any compound are always present in fixed ratios thus compounds are homogenous in nature. The properties of the compound are different from the properties of the elements from which it is formed and these constituents cannot be separated by simple physical processes.

Types of compounds

Based on bonding compounds are of two types

Ionic compounds

Ionic compounds also called salt compounds that are held together with ionic bonds. They form a crystal lattice in which an ion is surrounding by the definite number of opposite charges. Their chemical formula is represented as formula units. Example of ionic compounds are NaCl, CuSO4. etc.

Covalent compounds

Covalent compounds are called molecular compounds in which atom binds each other through covalent bonds. Their chemical formula is called molecular formula for example H2 SO4 etc.

Compounds can also be classified depending on the presence of carbon in the molecular structure.

Metallic compounds

Compounds having one or more metal elements bonded to another element.

Example: NaCl, CaCO3 etc.

Organic compounds

Compounds in which one or more atoms of carbon are covalently linked to atoms of other elements (hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen) that make up the bulk of living organisms are called organic compounds. carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids are examples of organic compounds.

Inorganic compounds

 Inorganic compounds are those that consist of one or two more different elements other than carbon and carbon derivatives e.g. carbon dioxide, water etc.

What is Mixture

A mixture is a substance composed of two or more substances that are not chemically combined with each other so retain their physical properties. The properties of the mixture depending on its components. Based on the size of particles there are the following properties of the mixture

  1. Solutions
  2. Suspensions
  3. Colloids


A solution is the homogeneous mixture of two or more uniform comments and properties are evenly distributed. The particles size in this type of solution is too small

Example: mixture of salt and water etc.


a suspension is a heterogeneous mixture of two or more substances in which the large solid particles (size greater than 1000 nm)are spread throughout the liquid without dissolving in it and can be seen with naked eyes.

Example: Muddy water, Milk of magnesia etc.


A Colloids is mixture of medium size particles that are remain dispersed and do not settle to the bottom of the container.

Example: Mist, smoke suds etc.

They can be classified as

  1. Homogeneous mixtures
  2. Heterogeneous mixtures

Homogenous mixtures

Mixture having the composition and properties throughout their mass and body. Light passed through the homogeneous mixture cannot be seen. The particles of the mixture are less than nanometer and the boundaries of the particles in mixture cannot be differentiated.

Example: Alloy, mixture sand and salt etc.

Heterogenous mixture

Heterogenous mixture lack uniform composition and properties throughout their mass. The boundaries of particles can be identified easily because it has two or more distinct phases. This type of mixture shows Tyndall effect.

Example: Mixture of sugar and water etc.

Sana Riaz

Sana has just completed her MPhil in Microbiology. She loves reading books and the latest discoveries in sciences.

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