No, baking soda is not a mixture. Baking soda is a compound.
In the article that follows, we’ll explain what a mixture is, what a compound is, and why it is that baking soda qualifies as one but not the other.
Why Isn’t Baking Soda A Mixture?
Baking soda is a material that is made up of more than one kind of substance.
But multiple materials isn’t the only qualification to be considered a mixture.
To be considered a mixture, the material is made up of more than one substance. In addition, those substances must be able to be easily separated, and usually retain their original characteristics.
If the materials are chemically bonded to each other, we say that these substances cannot be easily separated. It usually takes a kind of chemical reaction.
Beach sand is a good example of a mixture. There are often multiple substances in the sand, such as various types of rock and mineral. But these substances can be separated easily without the requirement of a chemical reaction.
Plus, the individual minerals retain their original hardness, solubility, and internal structure. And not only that, but if one of the materials was filtered out, like say all of the grains of granite, the sand would still exist.
Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate. It has a chemical formula of NaHCO3. This is sodium, hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen bonded together.
The sodium, hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen atoms are chemically bonded together. They cannot be easily separated without a chemical reaction.
When the atoms that make up baking soda are bonded to each other, they lose their original physical characteristics. Oxygen and hydrogen no longer exist naturally as a gas, but instead as a solid.
Finally, baking soda does not exist if one of the materials that make it are removed. If you took all the sodium out, you wouldn’t have anything left resembling baking soda.
For these reasons, baking soda is not considered a mixture.
But what about salt? Click here to read about whether salt is a mixture?
Is Baking Soda A Compound?
Yes, baking soda is considered a compound.
In chemistry, a substance is considered a compound when it is made up of identical molecules, consisting of two or more elements.
For example, pure water is considered a compound. Water is made up of molecules. Each one of those molecules is made up the same way, with two hydrogens attached to one oxygen.
Like water, baking soda is made up of molecules.
Each of those molecules is constructed the same, one sodium, one hydrogen, one carbon, and three oxygen atoms.
Is Baking Soda a Pure Substance?
Yes, baking soda is a pure substance.
A pure substance is a substance that is composed of the same kind of substance, consistently and throughout.
That substance may be an element, or it may be a compound.
Since baking soda is made up of a consistent building block (the same kind of molecule repeating throughout), then it is considered a pure substance.
That being said, this does not necessarily mean that the baking soda you purchase in the store is a pure substance.
It is pretty common for commercial products meant for public consumption or use to be sold with impurities that help the product last longer or work better.
For example, it is pretty common for powdered materials (like salt and baking soda) to be packaged with an anti-caking additive.
And in that case, the commercial baking soda with the additive would not be considered a “pure substance” as we understand them to be in chemistry.
But what about baking powder? Is baking powder a pure substance?
Is Baking Soda a Homogeneous Mixture?
No, baking soda is not a homogeneous mixture. The components of baking soda are chemically bonded to each other, and cannot easily be separated.
Is Baking Soda a Heterogeneous Mixture?
No, baking soda is not a heterogeneous mixture. While baking soda is made of multiple substances, the bonds between form a compound instead of a mixture.
Is Baking Soda An Element?
No, baking soda is not an element. An element is a substance which cannot be broken down into simpler substance.
For example, gold is a substance which is an element. Gold cannot be broken down into other elements, or anything simpler than it is.
Water is an example of a substance which can be broken down into simpler substances. It is made up of hydrogen and water chemically bonded to each other. Those bonds can be broken, and the materials that make up water can be separated from each other into separate and distinct substances.
Baking soda is made up for not less than four other substances that are bonded to each other. These bonds can be broken, separating the substances back into their original materials.
For this reason, baking soda is not considered an element.
Interested in learning more about pure substances and mixtures? Or whether materials like hydrogen, carbon dioxide, bronze, copper, milk, vinegar, blood, and honey are considered pure substances or mixtures?
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