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Major Differences Between Pure Substance and Mixture You didn’t Notice

Filed in Education by on December 3, 2020

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Major Differences Between Pure Substance and Mixture.

Difference Between Pure Substance and Mixture: Matter can be categorized based on the state they exist (Solid, liquid or gas) or as pure substances and mixtures. 

The major difference between pure substances and mixture is that pure substances have a specific composition of constituent while a mixture is the combination of two or more pure substances.

Pure substances are composed of a single element or compound while homogeneous mixtures are composed of multiple different elements or compounds. Mixtures can either be heterogeneous and homogeneous.

10 Major Differences Between Pure Substance and Mixture

Pure Substance and Mixture

Pure substances can be elements made up exclusively of one kind of atom, or they can be compounds made up of molecules that include two or more elements. Mixtures can be homogeneous or heterogeneous depending on how finely mixed the components is.

Homogeneous mixtures have the same look and characteristics throughout the mixture. Heterogeneous mixtures are coarser with detectable variations in appearance and properties in different parts of the mixture.

A pure substance has a definite and constant composition — like salt or sugar. A pure substance can be either an element or a compound, but the composition of a pure substance doesn’t vary.


Mixtures are physical combinations of pure substances that have no definite or constant composition — the composition of a mixture varies according to who prepares the mixture.

Although chemists have a difficult time separating compounds into their specific elements, the different parts of a mixture can be easily separated by physical means, such as filtration.

For example, suppose you have a mixture of salt and sand, and you want to purify the sand by removing the salt. You can do this by adding water, dissolving the salt, and then filtering the mixture. You then end up with pure sand.

Differences Between Pure Substance and Mixture

Firstly, a pure substance is matter which cannot be separated into any other kind of matter when using the physical or chemical process.

All the particles which make up a pure substance have the same color, taste, composition, and texture. In other words, it can be an element or a compound, which consists of only one component with a definite composition, chemical and physical properties.

Secondly, a mixture is a combination of two or more substances which are not united using a chemical procedure. The components that make up a mixture do not exist in fixed proportions, and most of the natural substances that you are familiar with, are mixtures.

Examples of mixtures include water, alcohol, oil, and dye. So what are the distinct differences between these two? With regards to a mixture, it can be physically separated into pure compounds or elements.

This is something that is not possible with a pure substance because it is already a type of matter which exists in its most basic, or purest form.

Another distinct characteristic of a pure substance is that, no matter how physically impossible it may be to isolate a pure substance. It can only be considered as pure if no impurities are detected.

When it comes to their physical properties, such as their boiling or melting points, pure substances are non-changing, while mixtures are varying. To put it simply, pure substances are exactly what the name implies – pure, while mixtures are impure.

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