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Elements, Compounds & Mixtures: Solve Your Chemistry Assignment in a Breeze

by Nov 3, 2015Chemistry

Chemistry is the branch of science which studies physical matter, and classifies it in varied manners, such as chemical structures in the form of molecules or atoms, state of matter such as solid, liquid or gas or chemical form such as elements, compounds and mixtures.

Importance of Elements, Compounds & Mixtures

The terms “element”, “compound” and “mixture” offer useful information about the chemical form of various structures. The term “substance” is also useful, as it can signify either a compound or an element although not mixtures considering the fact that the term “substance” indicates a distinct composition. The term “matter” is general in scope, and can be used to indicate “compounds”, “mixtures”, “elements” or “substances”.

What are Elements, Compounds & Mixtures?

All types of matter can be classified into elements, compounds and mixtures. As students, you need to have a greater grip on:

1.    Elements –

These are pure substances in the most basic form, and cannot be degraded into anything through any chemical or physical processes. Numerous elements can be found to exist in nature, which is exactly the reason they can be referred to as “naturally occurring elements”. Some elements are created in the laboratory through artificial means, and cannot be seen to exist in nature.

There are also some other elements which are supposed to exist in nature. However, these are extremely rate. Even when produced, these last only for a short period of time. This is due to the fact that these are radioactive elements and can decompose fast into other elements having smaller atoms.

2.    Mixtures –

You must have a better understanding of mixtures. These comprise of two substances or more which are not combined chemically with each other. These can be isolated through physical processes. In a mixture, substances hold their distinct properties. You can find mixtures in heterogeneous types, which exist in multiple phases, as well as in homogeneous types, which exist only in one phase. Solutions are a special type of mixture in which one type of substance dissolve into another one. It has to be noted that the substances in a mixture exist without chemical bonding with each other, and are not present in a fixed ratio. Are you clear on your concepts on Acids and Bases? – You need to know for an overall grip!

Mixtures are constituted of two or more varied compounds or elements, which are blended physically and can be isolated into their constituents through physical processes. For instance, a magnet is used in isolating magnetic solids from non-magnetic ones. Distillation of liquids is another process that separates dissimilar constituents.

Mixtures are found to have numerous properties of their constituent elements. For example, oxygen is an element and is a part of air, which is a mixture. Some properties of air are the result of the presence of oxygen, although in a reduced state as compared to pure oxygen. The diluted properties are due to the presence of various other constituents in air.

There are numerous kinds of mixtures, each having a special name. As students, you need to know a number of concepts. Take a look:

Heterogeneous Mixtures –

These have 2 or more types of substances which are not distributed uniformly through the mixture, such as water and oil.

1. Homogeneous Mixtures –

In these mixtures, 2 or more types of substances are distributed uniformly. For instance, vinegar is a mixture comprising of water and ethanoic acid in homogeneous combination.

2. Colloids –

These are heterogeneous mixtures having microscopic substance is distributed uniformly all through some other substance. For instance, milk has a number of naturally existing colloids dispersed in it. In medicine as well as in biology, colloids are extremely essential.

3. Solutions –

In this kind of homogeneous mixture, one kind of substance known as the “solute” is found to be dissolved in some other substance known as the “solvent”. For instance, salt which is dissolved in water in a salt water solution. In water, salt does not exist anymore in the form of solid particles.

4. Alloys –

These are mixtures where the primary elements or element is metal. Alloys can be technically defined as a complete or a partial solid solution in which a single or multiple elements exist in a metallic matrix. Steel, brass and bronze are some of the common instances of alloys.

5. Suspensions –

This is a fluid mixture having solid particles in a heterogeneous form, which are big enough for sedimentation. In other words, the solute will settle ultimately into the bottom of the solvent in a container. For instance, sand particles present in water.

3.    Compounds –

Do you find difficulty in understanding compounds? These are pure substances which are a combination of two elements or more. These can be disintegrated into more basic substances through chemical processes. With the help of chemical reactions, compounds can be isolated into elements which can again be chemically combined in order to create compounds.

A pure substance, compounds have two or multiple elements in a specific ratio, which can be divided further into simpler substances with the help of only chemical processes, and not physical processes. Naturally, if a specific amount of a material comprises of atoms of two or multiple elements always combined together in the same ratio, a compound is the matter which forms the material.

The smallest part of any compound is a molecule, which has properties similar to that of a compound. The representation of a compound can be done with the help of a chemical formula. The molecules of a compound comprise of an atom of an element joined chemically with the two atoms of some other element.

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