Explanation Of Elements, Compounds and Mixtures

      I assume that we all know  what matter is (anything that occupies space and has

mass). Matter is being classified in two ways, physically and chemically.

Matter is classified

physically into its state (solid, liquid   and gas), but in this post we are  going to focus on the

chemical classification of matter. Matter is classified chemically into : elements, compounds

and mixtures. Let’s start with elements.

What Is An  Element ?

An element is a substance which cannot be broken down (decompose) into simpler

units by chemical reactions.

The elements that are recognized are 118 in number, 90 of these

elements occur naturally, while the rest are artificially made. Most of the earth’s crust is made

up of a relatively small number of elements.

Symbols are used to represent elements as they

make it easier for us to write them down and remember them. Elements are arranged according

to their atomic number and are classified into : metals, metalloids and non-metals.

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Metals are elements whose atoms ionize by electron loss, the non-metals are elements

whose atom ionize by electron gain, while metalloids are elements that share the properties of

both the metals and the non-metals. The metalloids are also known as “semi-metals”.

Examples

of metals are : Tin, calcium, copper, silver, aluminium, gold, lead, iron, zinc,  sodium and so many

more,  just  to name a few popular ones.

Examples of non-metals are : Neon, fluorine, oxygen,

carbon, sulphur, nitrogen, chlorine, argon, etcetera.

Examples of metalloids are : Tellurium,

silicon, arsenic, germanium, antimony, boron, etcetera.

Let’s move to the next chemical

classification of matter (compounds).

What Is A Compound ?

A compound is a  substance derived from the chemical union of two or more different

elements. It is a substance that can be decomposed by chemical means into simpler

substances, always in the same ratio by mass. A compound is derived as a result of a chemical

change (chemical reaction). It has different properties from the substances from  which it was

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derived from. The elements that make up a compound are  present in a fixed ratio by mass.

Examples Of Compounds And Their Component Elements:

Calciumtrioxocarbonate(IV)[CaCO3] —   Calcium, carbon and oxygen.

Sucrose[C12H22O11] — Carbon,  hydrogen and oxygen.

Soap[C17H35COONa] — Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and sodium.

Water[H2O] — Hydrogen and oxygen.

Aluminumtetraoxosulphate(VI)[Al2(SO4)3] — Aluminium, sulphur and oxygen.

There are so

many compounds known, the ones above are just some of it.

What Is A Mixture ?

A mixture  is a substance derived when two or more constituents are physically joined together.

Mixtures are combinations of two or more pure substances in which each  substance maintain

its own composition and characteristics.

The components of mixtures can be elements, or

compounds or both, and can be separated by physical means, since they are not chemically

combined. An important characteristic of mixtures is that they can have variable composition.

Mixtures can be further classified into homogeneous mixtures and heterogeneous

mixtures.

Homogeneous mixture is a mixture that is uniform throughout, some good examples

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of homogeneous mixtures are : salt and water, air and some alloys.

Heterogeneous mixture on

the other hand is a mixture that is not uniform throughout, some good examples of

heterogeneous mixtures are : salt and charcoal, vegetable soup, foggy air, etcetera.

Examples of some mixtures and their components.

Air – oxygen, carbon(IV)oxide, nitrogen, rare gases (inert gases), dust and moisture.

Urine – urea, mineral salts, water, glucose, etcetera.

Bronze – copper and tin.

Blood – proteins, fat, sugar, oil, mineral salts, water, vitamins, hormones, enzymes, blood cells

and haemoglobin.

Brass – copper and zinc.

Milk – water, fat, sugar, vitamins, proteins and mineral salts.

Palmwine – water, sugar, alkanol, mineral salts, vitamins, yeast, proteins and fat.

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