Differences Between Compounds and Elements

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of matter. There are two main types of substances that chemists work with: compounds and elements. Elements are the simplest type of substance and consist of only one type of atom. Compounds are made up of two or more elements, bonded together. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between compounds and elements, and discuss some important applications of each.

A compound is any chemical substance formed by two or more different types of atoms. Elements are substances that cannot be broken down into other substances and they always have the same type of atoms. The difference between compounds and elements can be confusing to many people because both are made up of different types of atoms, but the key difference lies in the amount of each element within each compound. Compounds will contain varying amounts while an element has only one type of atom for every number on its periodic table spot.

The difference between compounds and elements is mostly in the way they are made. Compounds are formed when two or more different elements chemically react with each other. Elements, on the other hand, cannot be broken down into smaller pieces of matter. They exist as one whole piece that can never be separated any further. 

Comparison between Compounds and Elements

Parameters of ComparisonCompoundsElements
Made up Compounds are made up of two or more elementsElements are pure substances that cannot be broken down into anything simpler
Foundcompounds cannot found in natureElements can be found in nature
ProportionCompounds have a fixed proportion between the atoms they containIn an element, there is no fixed proportion of atoms – this depends on what the element is combined with to make a compound
Numbercompounds may vary in the number they contain Elements have a fixed number of protons and electrons
UndergoCompounds can undergo chemical reactions with other substanceselements cannot 

What are Compounds?

A compound is a molecule consisting of two or more atoms that are chemically bonded together. The atoms can be from the same element or different elements. Compounds are represented by chemical formulas, which show the types and number of atoms in a molecule. Water (H20), for example, is a compound made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Salt (NaCl) is made up of one sodium atom and one chlorine atom. Compounds have unique physical and chemical properties that differ from the individual atoms that make them up. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at compounds and their properties.

Compounds are a class of chemical compounds that have two or more atoms held together by covalent bonds. There is no limit to the number of different types of compounds, and they can be made from any combination of elements. In this article, we will explore some examples of common types of compounds and what distinguishes them from one another. 

Differences Between Compounds and Elements

A compound is a molecule composed of two or more atoms. The types of molecular compounds are ionic, covalent, and metallic. Compounds can be solids (like salt), liquids (like water), or gases (like carbon dioxide). 

What are Elements?

Chemical Elements is a chemistry textbook for high school students. It covers the basics of what makes up an atom and how atoms bond to one another to make chemical compounds. This blog post will cover some of the more complicated topics such as ionic bonding, covalent bonding, and molecular geometry about organic molecules.

Elements are substances that cannot be broken down to simpler forms by chemical reactions. The elements can’t be created or destroyed and they do not react with each other. There is a total of 118 different elements in the periodic table.

The word element comes from the ancient Greek word “stoic Hema”, meaning “a thing put together” which refers to how little we know about these substances as they have been around since before recorded history.” “It was not until 1869 when Dmitri Mendeleev proposed his periodic law that scientists began to understand the relationships between these diverse substances.” “In 1871, Mendeleev published his first version of this table where he classified all known elements according to their physical and chemical properties. This eventually became known as the periodic table of elements.

Differences Between Compounds and Elements

10 Differences Between Compounds and Elements

1. Compounds are made up of two or more elements.

2. Elements are pure substances that cannot be broken down into anything simpler.

3. There are three types of compounds – molecular, ionic, and covalent.

4. Molecular compounds have a chemical formula with no charges on the atoms in the molecule. 

5. Ionic compounds have charged ions formed by metals and nonmetals.

6. Covalent bonds form when two atoms share electrons equally to create a molecule.

7. Compounds can be broken down into simpler substances, while elements cannot.

8. Atoms in a compound are held together by chemical bonds, while atoms in an element are not. 

9. Elements have a specific number of protons and electrons that make up their atom’s nucleus.

10. Elements may also have neutrons in the nucleus, which is why they’re called nuclei.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of  Compounds

1. The word “compound” is derived from the Latin word “compositum,” which means to put together.

2. There are over 50,000 compounds in existence today.

3. A compound can be a single element or a mixture of elements. 

4. two types of compounds exist – organic and inorganic.

5. Three words on the periodic table that represent an elemental form of a compound are water, salt, and sulfuric acid. 

6. Salt’s chemical formula is NaCl while sulfuric acid’s chemical formula is H2SO4.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of  Elements

1. There are 118 elements in the periodic table.

2. The element with the highest atomic number is uranium, which has an atomic number of 92.

3. Hydrogen gas was first discovered by Henry Cavendish in 1766. 

4. Carbon dioxide makes up about 0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere.

5. Helium is a colorless, odorless gas that can be liquefied at very low temperatures and under high pressure.

6. Neon lights emit a reddish-orange glow because they contain mercury vapor or argon gas.


Compounds and elements are different in that compounds can be broken down into their parts, but elements cannot. Compounds such as water (H2O) or salt (NaCl) each have two components: hydrogen and oxygen for the former; sodium and chloride ions for the latter. Elements like carbon or potassium do not break down further to smaller units because they only consist of one type of atom with a certain number of protons-in these cases, six. -Compounds form when atoms combine in an arrangement where there is more than one type present, while pure substances contain just one kind of atom.-Atoms take on properties from both parent molecules when combined to make a compound.


Resource 01: https://www.britannica.com/science/chemical-compound
Resource 02: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_element

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