Difference Between Element and Compound


Main Difference

Elements and Compounds are the both matter found in various states. Elements are the chemical substance or matter that is made up of similar sort of atoms combined. We can also say that similar kind of atoms of a matter combines to form an element. The compound, on the other hand, is different as compare to the element. The compound is the mixture or combination of two different kinds of elements. Two or more kinds of elements combine to form compounds.

Comparison Chart

The element is a chemical substance of any state of matter that is made up of the combination of similar kind of atoms.Compounds are the chemical substances of any state of matter that are made up of the combination of two different types of elements.
Their states and reactivity classify 117 types of known element. Among which 94 are naturally occurring, and radioactivity artificially develops the remaining 22.Compounds are endless types. Compounds can be made with a combination of any two reactive elements, so their numbers are not defined.
Their atomic numbers classify elements. An atomic number is a number of protons in their atoms. Elements can be reactive, non-reactive and very much reactive depending upon their nature.Compounds are made up of different elements. Elements chemical react together to form a compound. There is a fixed ratio of each element in the formation of a specific compound. Compounds can be breakdown which releases energy.
Breakdown Ability
Elements cannot be broken down further as they are composed of similar sort of atoms.Compounds can be broken down into ions and their elements which they are made up of, it is done through chemical reactions.
Common examples of elements include Iron, copper, sulphur, phosphorus, hydrogen, oxygen, etc.Common examples of compounds include water, Sodium chloride (NaCl), Hydrochloric Acid (HCl), etc.
Elements are represented in the periodic table by their atomic numbers.Their chemical formula represents the compounds.

What is Element?

Elements are the chemical substances of any state of matter. Elements are made up of similar kinds of atoms joined. We can also say that similar kinds of atoms combine to form an element. An element can be non-reactive, reactive or very much reactive depending on its type of atoms and nature. Atoms are the smallest divisible part of the matter. These are the building blocks of everything and matter that exist in the earth. Up till now, there are 117 elements found and placed in the periodic table. From these 117 elements, 94 elements such as oxygen, hydrogen, etc. are naturally occurring elements, whereas radioactivity artificially produces the rest 22 elements. Elements in the periodic table are classified and placed by their reactivity. Some are non-metals, some are metals, and other remaining are referred as metalloids. Metalloids are not proper metals but whenever they are heated, or their temperature rises they become metals and start acting like metals. Every element has their state of meter and unique properties which define their state, atomic number and ability to react with other elements. Oxygen and hydrogen are gaseous in nature whereas copper, iron, and gold are solid in nature. Further, the elements can be differentiated by their atomic number, their symbol, atomic mass, boiling point, melting point, density and even ionization energy. The atomic number of elements are determined by some protons present in their atom. Atomic number is the number of protons present in the atom. Capital Z denotes the Atomic number of elements. The atomic mass of the element is the sum of protons and neutrons present in the atom of the elements. As the atomic number differs from every element and so that atomic mass also differs. Another thing needs to be mentioned here is about isotopes and allotropes. Isotopes are the atoms having the same number of protons but a different number of electrons in it. It thus classifies the similar element into different kinds by a number of electrons in their atom. Like carbon has three isotopes, which means three different kinds of carbon exist. Allotropes, on the other hand, are the atoms of the same element that combine with atoms of the same kind and form long chains and different shapes that result in the change in their properties and features.


What is Compound?

Compound are the chemical substances that are made up of different kinds of elements reacting with each other. Different types of elements react and combine with each other to form a whole new thing termed as a compound. Compounds are the mixture, or we can say a combination of elements. Different elements combine in a fixed form of ratio to produce compounds of different types. The amount or ratio is fixed as per element. Elements combine with each other by their nature and reactivity. Among the elements, metals are considered to be the most reactive elements, and they can readily react to form new compounds. This combination and reactivity depend on the valency of the element. Valency is the number of electrons present in the outmost shell of the atom of an element. Many elements can be made reactive by increasing their temperature in the chemical reaction. Compounds, as formed, can also be a breakdown and decomposed into their native elements. Sometimes they spilled into ions forming different kinds of elements. Elements formed by decomposing of the compounds can be in their original form and also contain a new form as well.

Element vs. Compound

  • The element is the chemical substance that is made up of similar kinds of atoms joined. It can be in any state of matter and form.
  • Compounds are chemical substances that are formed due to the combination of two or more different kinds of elements.
  • Elements react with each other and form a new compound.
  • Similar atoms of substance combine to form an element.
  • Elements occur naturally or made artificially by the radioactive
  • Compounds are formed only due to the reactions of elements with each other.
  • Up till now 117 elements are discovered and known present in the periodic
  • Compounds are endless, and their numbers are not defined specifically.
  • Elements cannot be breakdown further.
  • Compounds can be breakdown further into elements and ions by chemical reactions.
  • Elements are represented by their Atomic number and symbol in the periodic
  • Their chemical formula represents compounds.
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss