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Pure Substance vs. Mixture: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
A pure substance consists of a single type of particle with fixed properties, while a mixture contains two or more substances blended together without a chemical bond.
Pure Substance vs. Mixture

Key Differences

Pure Substance: Composed of only one type of particle; exhibits consistent and uniform properties throughout. Each part of a pure substance has identical characteristics. Mixture: A combination of two or more substances where each retains its individual properties. Mixtures can be physically separated into their components.
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Pure Substance: Cannot be separated into other substances by physical means; requires chemical reactions for separation. Elements and compounds are examples of pure substances. Mixture: Can be separated into its components by physical methods like filtration or distillation. Mixtures include solutions, suspensions, and colloids.
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Pure Substance: Has a definite and constant composition, resulting in predictable and consistent properties such as boiling and melting points. Mixture: Composition can vary, leading to a range of properties that are not as predictable as those of pure substances.
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Pure Substance: When heated or cooled, a pure substance will have specific and characteristic phase changes at predictable temperatures. Mixture: The phase change in mixtures occurs over a range of temperatures due to the presence of multiple substances with different properties.
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Pure Substance: Elements (like gold, oxygen) and compounds (like water, carbon dioxide) are classic examples of pure substances with distinct chemical and physical properties. Mixture: Everyday examples include air (a mixture of gases), seawater (a mixture of water and various salts), and alloys like brass (a mixture of copper and zinc).
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Comparison Chart

Composition

Homogeneous, one type of particle
Heterogeneous or homogeneous, multiple substances
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Separation

Requires chemical methods
Can be separated physically
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Properties

Uniform and consistent
Varies based on composition
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Phase Change

Specific melting/boiling point
Melting/boiling over a range
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Examples

Elements (Oxygen), Compounds (Water)
Solutions (Saltwater), Suspensions (Mud)
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Pure Substance and Mixture Definitions

Pure Substance

A pure substance exhibits the same physical and chemical properties throughout.
The boiling point of pure water is always 100°C at standard atmospheric pressure.
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Mixture

The composition of a mixture can vary.
The strength of a coffee and milk mixture changes based on the ratio of coffee to milk.
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Pure Substance

Pure substances have fixed melting and boiling points.
Pure iron melts at a constant temperature of 1538°C.
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Mixture

Mixtures can be homogeneous (uniform) or heterogeneous (non-uniform).
Homogeneous mixtures like vinegar look uniform, while heterogeneous mixtures like granite show different substances.
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Pure Substance

Pure substances include elements and compounds with uniform chemical makeup.
Pure gold, an element, is valued for its consistency in color and luster.
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Mixture

A mixture is a combination of two or more substances that are not chemically bonded.
Air is a mixture of various gases, including oxygen and nitrogen.
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Pure Substance

A pure substance is a material with a constant composition and consistent properties.
Diamond, a pure substance, has a distinct hardness and clarity.
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Mixture

Mixtures retain the individual properties of their components.
In a salad, each ingredient like lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers retains its own flavor and texture.
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Pure Substance

In a pure substance, every sample has identical characteristics.
Each crystal of pure sodium chloride (table salt) has the same taste and solubility.
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Mixture

Components in a mixture can be separated by physical methods.
Oil and water, when mixed, can be separated by decanting due to their different densities.
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Mixture

The act or process of mixing
An alloy made from the mixture of two metals.
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Mixture

The condition of being mixed
The inevitable mixture of different cultures in big cities.
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Mixture

A combination of ingredients used in cooking or baking.
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Mixture

One that consists of diverse elements
The day was a mixture of sun and clouds.
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Mixture

A fabric made of different kinds of thread or yarn.
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Mixture

(Chemistry) A composition of two or more substances that are not chemically combined with each other and are capable of being separated.
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Mixture

The act of mixing.
The mixture of sulphuric acid and water produces heat.
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Mixture

Something produced by mixing.
An alloy is a mixture of two metals.
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Mixture

Something that consists of diverse elements.
The day was a mixture of sunshine and showers.
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Mixture

A medicinal compound, typically a suspension of a solid in a solution
A teaspoonful of the mixture to be taken three times daily after meals
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Mixture

(music) A compound organ stop.
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Mixture

A cloth of variegated colouring.
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Mixture

(India) A mix of different dry foods as a snack, especially chevda or Bombay mix.
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Mixture

The act of mixing, or the state of being mixed; as, made by a mixture of ingredients.
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Mixture

That which results from mixing different ingredients together; a compound; as, to drink a mixture of molasses and water; - also, a medley.
There is also a mixture of good and evil wisely distributed by God, to serve the ends of his providence.
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Mixture

An ingredient entering into a mixed mass; an additional ingredient.
Cicero doubts whether it were possible for a community to exist that had not a prevailing mixture of piety in its constitution.
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Mixture

A kind of liquid medicine made up of many ingredients; esp., as opposed to solution, a liquid preparation in which the solid ingredients are not completely dissolved.
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Mixture

A mass of two or more ingredients, the particles of which are separable, independent, and uncompounded with each other, no matter how thoroughly and finely commingled; - contrasted with a compound and solution; thus, gunpowder is a mechanical mixture of carbon, sulphur, and niter.
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Mixture

An organ stop, comprising from two to five ranges of pipes, used only in combination with the foundation and compound stops; - called also furniture stop. It consists of high harmonics, or overtones, of the ground tone.
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Mixture

(chemistry) a substance consisting of two or more substances mixed together (not in fixed proportions and not with chemical bonding)
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Mixture

Any foodstuff made by combining different ingredients;
He volunteered to taste her latest concoction
He drank a mixture of beer and lemonade
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Mixture

A collection containing a variety of sorts of things;
A great assortment of cars was on display
He had a variety of disorders
A veritable smorgasbord of religions
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Mixture

An event that combines things in a mixture;
A gradual mixture of cultures
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Mixture

The act of mixing together;
Paste made by a mix of flour and water
The mixing of sound channels in the recording studio
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What defines a pure substance?

It’s a material with uniform composition and consistent properties.
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How are pure substances separated into simpler substances?

Through chemical methods like electrolysis or chemical reactions.
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Can a pure substance be a mixture?

No, a pure substance cannot be a mixture as it consists of only one type of particle.
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What is a mixture?

A combination of two or more substances that retain their individual properties.
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How can mixtures be classified?

Mixtures can be homogeneous (uniform) or heterogeneous (non-uniform).
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What are examples of pure substances?

Examples include oxygen (element) and water (compound).
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Can mixtures have variable compositions?

Yes, the composition of mixtures can vary.
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Can the components of a mixture be separated easily?

Yes, they can be separated by physical means like filtration.
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Do pure substances have a fixed melting point?

Yes, they have specific and constant melting points.
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Is distilled water a pure substance or a mixture?

Distilled water is a pure substance.
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Are alloys pure substances or mixtures?

Alloys are mixtures, usually of different metals.
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Are pure substances always elements?

No, they can be elements or compounds.
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Do mixtures exhibit new properties different from their components?

No, mixtures retain the properties of their individual components.
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Can pure substances be physically separated into other substances?

No, they require chemical processes for separation.
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What is an example of a heterogeneous mixture?

Sand mixed with salt is a heterogeneous mixture.
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Are all solutions mixtures?

Yes, solutions are homogeneous mixtures.
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Can a pure substance change its composition?

No, a pure substance has a fixed composition.
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How does a mixture’s boiling point compare to a pure substance’s?

A mixture boils over a range of temperatures, unlike a pure substance's fixed boiling point.
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Is granite a pure substance or a mixture?

Granite is a mixture of different minerals.
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Is saltwater a pure substance or a mixture?

Saltwater is a mixture of salt and water.
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Dec 11, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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