The nature of water has always been a confusing debate. You must also have had this question in your mind: is water a compound or mixture or element? We all are well informed about water throughout our life. It is an essential part of our living system, so today let’s exchange our views with the readers about whether water is a compound or a mixture.
Before that, let’s first look at what water, compounds, and mixture are to understand its concept better.
Water is the universal solvent essential for all living organisms to survive. It keeps us stay hydrated and active. Water is composed of two major elements, hydrogen, and oxygen, which can let it stay in all three states of matter; gaseous, liquid, and solid state. The general equation is represented as:
2H2 + O2 → 2H2O
If we talk about the physical appearance of water, it is a colorless, odorless, transparent, and tasteless solvent that holds tremendous significance all around the globe. A considerable portion of Earth is covered with oceans containing water. Experts think that we, humans, are entirely dependent on water since our body most part is composed of it. Different organs have aqueous solutions, and even the digestive juices and blood are all water.
What is a Compound?
Compounds are substances formed by the chemical bonding of two or more elements. All compounds appear in a fixed mass ratio due to the definite number of elements present. Moreover, when a compound is formed, it changes its properties from the individual components linked together and displays entirely distinct characteristics. Hence, compounds can never be separated through physical means.
What is a Mixture?
On the other hand, mixtures are substances formed after generally mixing two or more components. Unlike a compound, a mixture never changes its originality and retains the properties of its components. One can separate a mixture through different physical means, for example, filtration, distillation, centrifugation, etc. Hence, these substances are not in a fixed mass ratio.
Is Water a Compound or Mixture?
People are often confused if water is a compound or a mixture, but it’s very clear from the solvent’s properties. A water molecule comprises two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom that chemically combines through a covalent bond. We know that hydrogen and oxygen atoms are gases, and when they combine to form a water molecule, it changes its state to liquid. Hence, water is a compound, or a pure substance, with entirely different properties than its elements. Moreover, we cannot separate a water molecule into its components through physical methods, which indicates water is a compound.
We have enlisted below different points that justify that water is a compound and not a mixture, so let’s briefly flip through them:
Why Water is a Compound?
You might wonder which observation demonstrates that water is a compound, not an element or mixture. Below are some important points:
- Water contains atoms of different elements formed by chemically combining two or more elements.
- Besides, chemical reactions can separate them into simpler substances (components).
- The properties of water are unique and different from their components as the elements in the water are in a fixed ratio (2:1).
- Water has specific mass ratios in a defined manner, indicating that it’s a compound.
Why Is Water Not A Mixture?
There are a few authentic reasons explaining why is water considered a pure substance and not a mixture. These are:
- A mixture combines two or more substances formed physically, and water is naturally formed through covalent bonds.
- We know that mixtures do not have a fixed element ratio, but water molecule is always in a fixed proportion.
- Moreover, a mixture never loses its individual components’ properties, but water, on the other hand, displays an entirely different state than its constituents. Therefore, it can never be a mixture.
- A mixture can be separated into simpler substances by physical or mechanical methods more quickly than a compound, but water needs chemical separation.
The reasons mentioned above and explanations are enough for anyone to understand why water is a compound and not a mixture. There is no way this molecule is a mixture; instead, it always shows different properties than the constituent elements, thus proving to be a compound.
Anna has completed her degree in Pharmacy from the University of Hawaii. She is serving as a research assistant in a pharmaceutical company. She had a great interest in writing blogs, traveling to different parts of the US, and trying delicious recipes in her spare time.