With so many kinds of unique matters on earth, it might be a bit overwhelming to figure out to which classification a matter belongs.

Bismuth is a unique matter. You might not hear about it often. But this material does exist on earth.

Is bismuth an element, compound, or mixture?

Bismuth (Bi) is an element. It has an atomic number of 83 in the periodic table. It purely consists of an individual atom of bismuth. It’s so pure that it cannot be broken down into other elements. Hence, bismuth is an element. It’s neither a compound nor a mixture.

This post will talk more about the classification of bismuth. Why bismuth is an element as opposed to a compound or mixture.

So keep on reading!

What Is Bismuth?

Bismuth is a solid matter that looks like crystal with silvery-white to colorful appearance.

Bismuth is a metal with diamagnetic feature.

Bismuth found in nature, usually as crystals in the sulphide ores of nickel, cobalt, silver, and tin.

Element VS Compound VS Mixture

Classifying a material would be easier once we understand the difference of its categories (element, compound, and mixture).

Element is a simple substance that only consists of an individual kind of atom. It doesn’t consists any other addition. Just 1 kind of atom. Hence, it cannot be separated into other elements.

Some examples of elements are helium, oxygen, iron, gold, and copper.

There are 118 elements in the periodic table. Each of them has distinctive feature.

An element can combine with 1 or more elements to form a more complex matter. This matter can be compound or mixture.

When two or more elements bond chemically in a definite ratio of composition, it forms a new matter which is classified as COMPOUND.

Some examples of compound are CO2 (carbon dioxide), CO (carbon monoxide), and NaCl (sodium chloride or salt).

So, in compound, the elements form chemical bond.

Elements are able to bond without chemical bond. They can combine physically. When this happens, the matter is classified as mixture.

Not every mixture is free from chemical bond. Some mixtures cannot be separated physically (you need chemical process to break it down).

The surefire way to identify a mixture is by observing its ratio of composition. If it always has a certain ratio of composition all over the world no matter what, then probably it’s a compound.

A mixture doesn’t need a definite ratio of composition. For example, a glass of apple juice is a mixture. It consists of water and apple concentrate/similar thing. The ratio of water and apple concentrate isn’t always the same. Different company may have different formula. This means that an apple juice has no definite ratio of composition and thus it’s classified as a mixture.

Is Bismuth An Element or Compound?

Bismuth is an element. It consists of 1 type of atom, which is bismuth itself. It cannot be separated.

To be classified as compound or mixture, a matter must consists of minimum 2 different elements. Bismuth doesn’t qualify for it.

Bismuth is categorized as element.

Where Can You Find Bismuth?

Being so unique and probably sound surreal, you can actually find bismuth easily.

Pepto-Bismol, one of the most popular stomach ache medication, has bismuth as its main ingredient.

Daniel Smithson

Hi, I'm Daniel Smithson, a Chemistry teacher for over 35-years and the founder of DearLearners.com Learning should be fun and accessible to all. Find out more about our mission here: https://dearlearners.com/about-us/

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