Can an element be chemically separated

Note that an element:

  • consists of only one kind of atom,
  • cannot be broken down into a simpler type of matter by either physical or chemical means, and
  • can exist as either atoms (e.g. argon) or molecules (e.g., nitrogen).

A molecule consists of two or more atoms of the same element, or different elements, that are chemically bound together. Note that the two nitrogen atoms which comprise a nitrogen molecule move as a unit.

Note that a compound:

  • consists of atoms of two or more different elements bound together,
  • can be broken down into a simpler type of matter (elements) by chemical means (but not by physical means),
  • has properties that are different from its component elements, and
  • always contains the same ratio of its component atoms.

Note that a mixture:

  • consists of two or more different elements and/or compounds physically intermingled,
  • can be separated into its components by physical means, and
  • often retains many of the properties of its components.