Elements, Compounds & Mixtures

Before we talk about the different types of chemical bonds, we will need to distinguish elements, compounds and mixtures from one another.

Compound is formed when two or more different types of elements are chemically combined together.

Difference between element and compound

Element Compound
Simplest form of matter Consists of two or more different types of elements chemically combined together
1 type of atom 2 or more types of atoms
Cannot be decomposed into simpler substance by chemical means Can be decomposed into simpler substance by chemical means

Mixture is formed by physically mixing two or more substances together. (No chemical reaction is involved)

  • Element + element mixture
  • Element + compound mixture
  • Compound + compound mixture


Difference between mixture and compound

Compound Mixture
Constituents present in fixed proportions Constituents present in various proportions
Formed by chemical reaction Not formed by chemical reaction
Have properties different from properties of constituents Have properties same as properties of constituents
Constituents are separated by chemical means Constituents are separated by physical means


Recall that elements are divided into metal and non-metal. When two or more metals are mixed together, an alloy is formed. The common reason for mixing metals together is that their mixture is harder and stronger than their base metals.

The table below shows the difference between metal and non-metal.

Metal Non-metal
Appearance Shiny Dull
Melting point/Boiling point High Low
Densities High Low
Malleable Yes No
Conductivity Good conductor of heat and electricity Bad conductor of heat and electricity


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