# What is the difference between mixtures and compounds?

Jan 28, 2014

Mixtures are made from different substances that aren't chemically bonded , whereas compounds are substances that are chemically bonded.

#### Explanation:

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A compound always has the same composition. Mixtures can have different compositions.

A compound consists of the atoms of two or more elements that are chemically joined to each other. Since the atoms are always joined in the same ratio, the composition of a compound is always the same.

The components of a compound cannot be separated by physical means. They can be separated only by chemical means.
The properties of a compound are quite different from the properties of its constituents.

A mixture consists of two or more substances that are physically intermingled in different proportions. It often retains many of the properties of its components, and the components can be separated from each other by physical means.

EXAMPLES

Water is a compound, comprised of chemically reacted hydrogen and oxygen. It always has the formula $\text{H"_2"O}$, so it has a constant composition. Water is a liquid, while hydrogen and oxygen are both gases. Water can be converted back to hydrogen and oxygen by passing an electric current through it.

Salt water is a mixture that can contain varying amounts of salt. The solution is a liquid (like water) and it tastes salty (like salt). You can easily separate the components by boiling off the water to leave the solid salt behind. Mixtures don't have chemical formulas and are not chemically bonded.