Education Science

Difference Between Element and Compound

Difference Between Element and Compound

This is only one of several often asked chemistry test questions about the distinction between an element and its compound. Students must be well-versed with the list of various elements and compounds in order to fully comprehend them. Compounds and elements are chemical substances found in nature, which is the most important thing to know.

Element Vs. Compound

The atomic nuclei of an element and those of a compound have different numbers of protons, yet an element is a distinct species of atom. An elemental mixture of molecules and atoms is referred to as a chemical compound because it is held together by chemical bonds and contains atoms from several elements.

Oxygen is an example of an element. Oxygen has an atomic volume of 8, hence any atom with 8 protons is included in this category. Compounds may be divided into four main categories based on how the atoms in each component are connected to one other. Covalent bonds, ionic bonds, metallic bonds, and coordinated covalent bonds are all examples of these.


In the simplest terms possible, an element may be described as a material composed mostly of one or more kinds of atoms.

Iron, with the chemical symbol Fe, is an example of an element. A total of 118 elements have been identified. 24 of the 118 elements are synthesized, whereas the remaining 94 elements may be found on Earth in their natural states.

“Element” is a word used to describe all atoms with a certain number of protons, regardless of whether or not they are chemically bound. Hydrogen, which may be found in water, is an excellent example of this. Chemical substances in their purest form, such as hydrogen gas, are often referred to as single-element compounds.

Each of the 94 naturally occurring elements with atomic numbers ranging from 1 to 82 has at least one stable isotope. Technetium (element 43) and promethium (element 61) are exceptions to this norm. There are no stable isotopes of any of these elements. You need to know that stable isotopes have not experienced any radioactive decay.


Chemical compounds are substances that include at least two distinct types of atoms or chemical elements that are fixed in a stoichiometric proportion and may also be referred to as chemical compounds. The proportions of any non-stoichiometric chemical may be easily reproduced by using the same precise preparations each time.

Chemical bonds bind chemical substances in a specific spatial arrangement with a specific chemical structure that is one-of-a-kind. Compounds may be classified according on the sort of bond holding them together.

Coordinate covalent bonds are used to hold molecular compounds together, for example, as well as intermetallic compounds, salts and chemical complexes.

Difference Between Element and Compound

  • Elements are substances that only have one kind of atom in them. Compounds, on the other hand, are things that are made up of at least two distinct types of atoms or elements that are linked together chemically.
  • 118 elements exist, of which 94 are found in their natural condition on Earth; compounds are characterised by the kind of bonds that link them, such as molecular, metallic, or ionic, and the number of atoms in each.
  • Symbols and numbers are always used to represent elements, such as sodium (Na). NaCl is the chemical formula for sodium chloride; nonetheless, compounds are usually referred to by their chemical formula.
  • Atomic numbers distinguish between distinct types of elements, while compounds are characterised by their fixed ratio of different elements in a certain arrangement.
  • No chemical process may further decompose an element. Chemical reactions, on the other hand, make it very easy to break down or separate complex molecules into their constituent parts.
  • Gold, iron, and copper are a few examples of elements. Sodium hydroxide, also known as NaOH, and sodium chloride, sometimes known as NaCl, are examples of compounds.


When you understand the difference between an element and a compound, it will be easy to tell them apart. Compounds, on the other hand, are made up of a variety of distinct atoms.

Compounds are made up of a variety of distinct substances. Compounds may also be broken down quite easily. However, attempting to dissect an element is pointless. Try dissolving hydrogen and you’ll get the gist of what this sentence means.