A chemical compound is a substance formed by the chemical bond (entailing electron-sharing) between atoms of two or more different elements. In other words, an atom merges with the atom of other element(s) to form a compound. If the atoms have the same parent element, then the substance isn’t a compound. For example, h20 (water) is a compound. It has atoms taken from hydrogen and water. Similarly, sodium chloride is also a compound composed of the sodium and chlorine atom.
Not all elements form compounds. For example, inert or noble gases such as neon, helium, and argon are not readily available for compounding. Other elements such as oxygen, fluorine and chlorine are more than ready. By the way, a chemical bond and chemical compound are not exactly the same thing. A chemical bond refers to the bonding process, whereas a chemical compound is the result of that bonding.
A New Substance Altogether
When atoms of different chemical properties combine into a compound, they lose their original characteristics and acquire fresh traits. For instance, both oxygen and hydrogen are gases. But when they chemically bond with each other, the result is water or H2O, which is a liquid at normal or room temperature.
How is a Compound Different from a Mixture and Molecule?
A compound is different from a molecule and mixture. Molecules are made of two or more atoms, which may belong to different or the same element. This means a compound can be a molecule but a molecule is not always a compound. In case of a mixture, there isn’t any chemical bonding. The atoms in a compound or a molecule can be only separated chemically; such procedures aren’t needed for a mixture. Water and salt are molecules and compounds. Concrete is a mixture of cement, lime, sand, water, rocks, and other particles.
Fixed Ratio of Atoms
A compound always has a fixed ratio of atoms. Without this ratio, the compound would cease to exist. For example, H2O is a compound that comprises two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. To form another H2O compound, another couple of hydrogen atoms would be needed for one oxygen atom. Similarly, carbon dioxide always comprises molecules that have two oxygen atoms and one carbon atom. An absence or addition of a particular atom could alter the entire composition and change the compound’s identity.