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Table of Contents
1. Elements, Compounds and Mixtures
a. Elements (Page 1)
b. Introduction to the Periodic Table of Elements
(Page 1)
c. Metals vs Non-Metals: Difference in Properties
(Page 2)
d. List of Common Elements (Page 2)
e. In-depth Details of Common Elements
(Page 3)
f. Further Learning
(Page 15)
g. Particles of Matter (Page 16)
h. Atoms (Page 16)
i. Molecules
(Page 16)
j. Compounds (Page 17)
k. Mixtures (Page 18)
l. Compounds vs Mixtures (Page 22)

2. Solutions and Suspensions
a. Solutions (Page 18)
b. Solubility (Page 19)
c. Rate of Dissolving (Page 20)
d. Suspensions (Page 21)
e. Solutions vs Suspensions (Page 21)

3. Separation Techniques
a. Physical Change
(Page 23)
b. Chemical Change (Page 23)
c. Physical Separation Techniques
(Page 23)
Elements, Compounds & Mixtures
An element is a substance which cannot be broken down into two or more
simpler substances by chemical methods.
Simplest kind of matter
Classified into the periodic table of elements
Periodic Table of Elements:
Elements classified systematically into the periodic table based on
Each element has a symbol of 1 to 3 letters.
Each element has an atomic number and nucleon number.

Horizontal Row : Period
Vertical Row: Group
As you move across a period from left to right, the properties of the elements
will change gradually from metallic to non-metallic.
Elements in the same group have similar chemical properties and will undergo
the same types of chemical reactions.
Metals vs Non-metals
Properties Metals Non-Metals
Appearance Shiny Dull
Electrical and Heat
Good Conductors of
Electricity and Heat
Poor Conductors of
Electricity and Heat
Melting and Boiling
Generally High (Except
Generally Low
Ductility and
Malleable and Ductile Brittle
Density Generally High Generally Low
Sound when hit Sonorous Non-sonorous

Common Elements
Copper Cu Zinc Zn
Aluminium Al Mercury Hg
Chlorine Cl Helium He
Iodine I Neon Ne
Oxygen O Hydrogen H
Magnesium Mg Calcium Ca
Iron Fe Sodium Na
Carbon C Fluorine F
Nitrogen N Phosphorus P
Sulfur S Boron B

Copper (Atomic Number: 29, Atomic Mass: 64, Symbol: Cu, Period 4)
Shiny reddish brown solid

High melting and boiling point
Good conductor of electricity
Ductile (easily drawn into wires)

Commonly used to make electrical wires
Used to make water pipes
Copper + Tin => Bronze (Alloy, Mixture)
Copper + Zinc => Brass (Alloy, Mixture)

Aluminium (Atomic Number: 13, Atomic Mass: 27, Symbol: Al, Period 3,
Group 3)
Shiny Solid

Strong and Light
High melting and boiling point
Good electricity conductor
Malleable (Can be shaped)

Make aeroplane parts (Strong and low density)
Make drink cans, cooking utensils and ladders
Overhead electricity cables
Chlorine (Atomic Number: 17, Atomic Mass: 35.5, Symbol: Cl, Period 3,
Group 7)
Greenish-yellow gas

Low melting and boiling point
Poor electrical conductor

Used in bleaches for clothes

Iodine (Atomic Number: 53, Atomic Mass: 127, Symbol: I, Period 5, Group
Black crystals

Low melting and boiling point
Poor electrical conductor
Sublimes when heated to form a violet vapor

. Used as an antiseptic in medicines (Dissolves in ethanol)

Oxygen (Atomic Number: 8, Atomic Mass: 16, Symbol: O, Period 2, Group 6)
Colourless gas

Low melting and boiling point
Poor electrical conductor

Used for respiration in living things
Magnesium (Atomic Number: 12, Atomic Mass: 24, Symbol: Mg, Period 3, Group
Grey solid

High melting and boiling point
Good conductor of electricity
. Burns with a dazzling white light

Used to make milk of magnesia (Relieve acid of indigestion)
Used in distress flares (Burns with a white dazzling light)
Used in making fireworks

Iron (Atomic Number: 26, Atomic Mass: 56, Symbol: Fe, Period 4)
Grey solid

High melting and boiling point
Good conductor of electricity

Make cutlery
Carbon (Atomic Number: 6, Atomic Mass: 12, Symbol: C, Period 2, Group 4)
Exists in different forms (Allotropes): Diamond, Graphite, Soot, Charcoal
. Graphite is a black solid.
. Diamond is the hardest known substance.

Diamond can be polished to form a shiny, reflective and transparent
. Graphite is very lightweight.

Graphite can be used for pencil leads
. Charcoal is used for fuel.
. Diamond is used for making drills to cut through hard metals.

Nitrogen (Atomic Number: 7, Atomic Mass: 14, Symbol: N, Period 2, Group 5)
. Colourless gas
Unreactive element at room temperature
. Does not burn or support combustion
. Low boiling point

Packing of food
. Fertilisers
. Freezing agent for food
Sulfur (Atomic Number: 16, Atomic Mass: 32, Symbol: S, Period 3, Group 6)
. Yellow powdery solid
. Poisonous
. Soluble in organic solvent like alcohol but not water
. Sulfuric acid
. Harden rubber in the process of making tyres (vulcanization)

Zinc (Atomic Number: 30, Atomic Mass: 65, Symbol: Zn, Period 4)
. Grey solid
. Good conductor of electricity
. Strong and corrosion resistant
Coat iron sheets (Galvanised iron)
. Produce electricity in batteries
Galvanize metal gates
Zinc + Copper => Brass

Mercury (Atomic Number: 12, Atomic Mass: 24, Symbol: Mg, Period 3)
. Silvery liquid
Only metallic element that is a liquid at room temperature
. Unreactive
. Gives out light (Fluorescent)
. Good conductor of heat and expands evenly with it

. Thermometers
. Blood pressure measurements
. Fluorescent lamps
. Dental fillings

Helium(Atomic Number: 2, Atomic Mass: 4, Symbol: He, Period 1)
. Colourless and odourless
. Exist as a single atom
. Noble gas
. Fill airships and balloons to gain lift
. Condense hydrogen and oxygen to make rocket fuel
Neon (Atomic Number: 10, Atomic Mass: 20, Symbol: Ne, Period 2)
. Colourless and odourless under standard conditions
. Glows reddish-orange in a vacuum discharge tube
. Exist as a single atom
. Noble gas
. Neon advertising signs
. Lightning arresters to shield electrical equipment from lightning
. Aircraft beacons

Hydrogen (Atomic Number:1, Atomic Mass: 1, Symbol: H, Period 1)
. Colourless and odourless gas
. Lowest density
. Explosive
. Fill weather balloons and blimps
. Hydrogenated vegetable oils
. Reducing agent (Eg: Treat and purify mined tungsten)

Calcium (Atomic Number: 20, Atomic Mass: 40, Symbol: Ca, Period 3)
. Silvery-white solid

. Relatively soft
. Ductile and malleable
. Highly reactive with acids

. Cements and mortars
. Cheese
. Help to keep bones strong and healthy

Sodium (Atomic Number: 11, Atomic Mass: 23, Symbol: Na, Period 3)
. Silvery solid
. Malleable and ductile
. Good conductor of heat and electricity
. Soft
. Reacts violently with water
. Burns with a brilliant golden-yellowish flame
. Table salt
. Street lamps
. Manufacturing glass, pottery and soap

Fluorine (Atomic Number: 9, Atomic Mass: 19, Symbol: F, Period 2)
. Pale yellow/ white/ colourless gas
. Highly poisonous
. Heat resistant
. Pungent odour
. Highly reactive with all elements except for noble gases
. Toothpaste
. Refrigeration
. Uranium hexafluoride for nuclear power industry

Phosphorus (Atomic Number: 15, Atomic Mass: 31, Symbol: P, Period 3)
. White/ red/ black solid
. Waxy
. White phosphorus glows in the dark and is poisonous
. Black phosphorus is made under high pressure and conducts electricity
. Red phosphorus cannot dissolve in many liquids
. Glows in the dark

. Insoluble and inert coating to many metals
. Fire starters and stoppers
. Fertiliser

Boron (Atomic Number: 5, Atomic Mass: 11, Symbol: B, Period 2)
. Brown powder (Amorphous Boron)
. Hard, brittle, lustrous black semimetal. (Crystalline Boron)
. Poor electrical conductor at room temperature, but good electrical
conductor at high temperatures.
. Crystalline form less reactive than amorphous form
. Oxidized slowly in air at room temperature and ignites spontaneously at
high temperatures to form an oxide. (Amorphous)
. Oxidized only very slowly, even at higher temperatures (Crystalline)
. Glass and Ceramics
. Fertiliser
Electronic Configuration + Valence Electrons (Further learning)
Atoms are made up of subatomic particles, mainly protons, neutrons and
The centre of an atom is called the nucleus which contains the protons and
neutrons. The electrons in an atom are arranged in shells at different distances
from the nucleus.
shell 2 electrons
shell 8 electrons
shell 8 electrons (1
20 elements), 18 electrons (start to add in transition
shell 18 electrons
An electronic configuration is written as follows: X.X.X
For example,
Boron -> 5 electrons -> 2 electron shells -> electronic configuration = 2.3
Calcium -> 20 electrons -> 4 electron shells -> electronic configuration =
However, after calcium is scandium, which is a transition metal. When this series
start, the electrons start to fill up the 3
shell instead. Therefore, scandium has an
electronic configuration of with 21 electrons. This process will continue
until 18 electrons are filled up, which will be until zinc ( and the electrons
will add normally after that.

Valence Shell:
The valence shell is the furthest occupied shell from the nucleus. Valence
electron refers to the electrons in the valence shell. (only valence electrons are
involved in chemical reactions).
Example of Borons electronic structure:

Summary of Shells:
1. Number of periods = Number of occupied electron shells
2. Number between each period = Number of electrons on that particular
Chlorine -> 17 electrons -> 3 electron shells -> 2.8.7
Chlorine has 3 electron shells -> 3 periods
Chlorine has 2 electrons on 1st shell, 8 electrons on 2nd shell, 7 electrons on 3rd
Particles of Matter
A Scanning Tunneling Microscope is used to see particles of matter.
There are different types of particles:
Ions And Isotopes (Sec 2)
Smallest Particle of Any Element
Diameter of about

Can have the chemical properties of the elements
Each element consists of particular types of atoms.
Atoms of different elements are different
Group of 2 or more atoms held together by chemical bonds
May consist of atoms of a single element (O2), or of different elements
A compound is a substance containing 2 or more elements chemically combined

Properties of compounds
- Compounds are formed by chemical reactions. Their formation usually
involves an exchange of energy in the form of heat, light or both with the
- Properties of the compound formed have different properties from the
constituent elements.
- Compounds cannot be broken down by physical methods.
- Compounds can only be broken down by chemical methods -- which
involve heating or lighting or electric current.
- Different elements in a compound are joined together in a fixed
proportion by mass (and number of atoms)
How are compounds formed?
- Combination
An Example is Combustion
Occurs when elements or compounds burn and combine with oxygen
to form one or more new compounds.
Example of Combustion:
Carbon (Element) + Oxygen (Element) => Carbon Dioxide
Sodium (Element) + Water (Compound) => Sodium Hydroxide
(Compound) + Hydrogen (Element)
- Decomposition
Complex Compounds Heated to be broken down into simpler
Sugar (Compound) => Water Vapour (Compound) + Carbon
If something has no chemical formula, it is a mixture.
A mixture consists of two or more different substances that are mixed but not
chemically joined together.
- Do not have chemical symbol or formula
- Can be
Solids (salt and sand, metal alloys, etc.)
Liquids (mineral water, milk, etc.)
Gases (air)
- Examples: air, mineral water, bronze, steel, brass
- Two types of mixtures:
- Consists of two parts:
. Solvent (the substance the solute dissolves in and forms the
bulk of the solution )
. Solute (the substance that dissolves in the solvent of the
. Eg: air nitrogen (solvent) + oxygen, carbon dioxide and etc
saltwater water(solvent) + salt(solute)
bronze tin (solvent) + copper (solute)
- Homogenous- colour, density, appearance and other physical and
chemical properties are the same in every part of the solution
- Light passes through the solution (solute particles are spread evenly
and thus too small to reflect or block any light passing through)
- Three types of solution
. Dilute solution- small amount of solute in large amount of
. Concentrated solution- large amount of solute dissolved in
. Saturated solution- maximum amount of solute dissolved in
The solubility of a substance is the maximum quantity of that substance which
can dissolve in 100 grams of the solvent at a given temperature.
Eg: Copper (II) sulfate has a solubility of 32 grams per 100 grams of water at 20
degrees celsius.
What are the factors affecting solubility?
- Type of solute
The type of solute affects solubility as different substances have different
solubilities in the same solvent.
- Type of solvent
The type of solvent also affects solubility as the same substance have different
solubilities in different solvents.
- Temperature
The solubility of solids and liquids increases with the increase in temperature
whereas the solubility of gases decreases as the temperature increases.
- Pressure
The solubility of gases increases with the increase in pressure whereas the
solubility of solids and liquids decreases as pressure increases. However, the
effect of pressure on solubility of solids and liquids is typically weak.
What is a solubility graph?

The above is a solubility graph, which shows how the solubility of different
substances in a solvent varies with various factors. In this case, the solubility
graph shows the changes in solubility of compounds in water with temperature.
Rate Of Dissolving
Rate of dissolving is the time taken for the dissolving process from the time the
solute was added to the solvent until it is completely dissolved.
What are the factors affecting rate of dissolving?
-Temperature of solvent
The temperature of the solvent affects the rate of dissolving by speeding up the
process. The particles of the solvent and solute are able to move faster in a
higher temperature which results them mixing together more quickly. Hence, the
process of dissolving is faster.
-Size of solute particles
The smaller the size of the solute particles, the larger the exposed surface area of
the solute particles. Dissolving always occurs on the surface of the solute. Hence,
solute particles can dissolve faster with more exposed surface area if they are
smaller. This increases the rate of dissolving.
-Agitation of the solution
By stirring or shaking the solution, stirring or shaking the solution removes the
solvent that has already dissolved pieces of the solute and replaces it with fresh
*Note: Rate of dissolving is not the same as solubility.
Rate of dissolving is how fast the solute dissolves in the solvent entirely whereas
solubility is the maximum amount of solute which can dissolve in 100 grams of
solvent at a particular temperature.
- Formed when substance does not dissolve in solvent or when the
amount of substance in the mixture is over its solubility limit.
o sand in water
o muddy water
o concrete
- Heterogeneous- insoluble particles settle at the bottom so physical
and chemical properties are unequal throughout suspension
- Light does not pass through the suspension (insoluble particles are
big enough to block incoming light)
- Particles settle to the bottom after suspension is left to stand for a

Solutions Vs Suspension
Solutions Vs Suspensions
Passes through filter
paper completely
Vs Solvent/liquid passes
through the filter paper
and the solute/solid is
left behind
Solute particles spread
evenly when left to settle
Vs Solute particles sink to
the bottom when left to
Homogenous Vs Non-homogenous
Light can pass through Vs Light cannot pass

Compounds V.S. Mixtures
A single compound has a fixed boiling point, A mixture of compounds have a
range of boiling points.
Elements / Compounds VS Mixtures
Pure VS Impure
Fixed melting and boiling
VS Melts or boils over a range of


Separation Techniques
Chemical Changes
Chemical Change:
- New Substance Formed
- Different properties (Different melting points/chemical reactions)
- New substance have different appearance
- A lot of heat given out in chemical change
Chemical Reactions:
- Combustion
- Decomposition
Physical Changes
Physical Change:
- No new substances formed.
- Changes easily reversed through physical separation techniques
- Example: Dissolving of salt in water
Physical Separation Techniques
- Filtration
Filtration is one of the techniques used to separate mixtures. A mixture of solid
and liquid is poured into a filter funnel and passed through a filter paper. The
filter paper is usually folded into a cone shape to fit into the filter funnel. When
the mixture passes through the filter paper, the extremely tiny holes in it allow
the liquid to flow through and traps the solid particles. The solid trapped in the
filter paper is known as the residue whereas the liquid that passes through the
filter paper is known as the filtrate. However, this method will only be viable if
the solid is insoluble in the liquid.

- Crystallisation
When a solid dissolves in liquid, it forms a solution and thus filtration is unable to
separate. Hence, other methods like crystallisation are used. When the solution is
heated, most of the solvent is evaporated off until the solution becomes
saturated. The solution is then left to cool, causing its solubility to decrease,
resulting in the dissolved solid to appear as pure crystals. The cooled solution is
then poured away to obtain the crystals, which are dried by pressing them
between sheets of filter paper.

- Evaporation to dryness
Evaporation to dryness is an alternative to crystallisation. This method is slightly
different from crystallisation. The solution is heated until all the solvent is
evaporated to leave behind only the solute instead of heating the solution until it
is saturated before cooling it to obtain the crystallised solute. However, there are
downfalls to evaporation to dryness as compared to crystallisation. Evaporation
to dryness cannot be used for sugar solution as sugar will decompose to give
water and carbon when heated.

- Distillation Vs Fractional Distillation
Distillation is used to purify liquids. In The liquid is boiled and turns into gas,
which is pure as the other substances are left in the solution. The gas is then
cooled and condenses to a pure liquid which is called a distillate. This method is
used to obtain a pure solvent from a solution. An example is the distillation of
seawater to obtain pure water. The seawater is boiled in a flask and the steam is
then cooled in a condenser and condenses. The pure water droplets are then
collected in a conical flask whereas the salt and other impurities remain in the
However, if there is a solution of miscible liquids, then fractional distillation is
used. The difference between the two methods is the fractionating column,
which separates the liquids according to their boiling point. The lowest boiling
point liquid is distilled first, allowing the miscible liquids to be separated.
However, the liquids in the solution must have different boiling points for
fractional distillation to work. For example, in a mixture of ethanol and water, as
ethanol has a lower boiling point at 78 degrees celsius, it boils and then
condenses first, leaving the water in the flask as it has a higher boiling point at
100 degrees celsius.
- Separating Funnel
For non-miscible liquids, a separating funnel is used. The lighter liquid forms a
separate layer above the heavier liquid. The tap is opened so the lower liquid
layer runs out first and is collected in a beaker. The tap is quickly closed as the
last drops of the liquid flows into the beaker. Then, the tap is opened for the
higher liquid layer to run out into another beaker. An example is a mixture of
water and petrol, where the water is let out and collected in beaker before the
petrol as the former is heavier than the latter.

- Magnetic attraction
Magnetic attraction is used to separate magnetic substances from non-magnetic
ones in a mixture. Electromagnets are used to remove scrap steel and iron plus
other metallic waste at junkyards. Electromagnets are used as they are
temporary magnets so they can be activated and deactivated at the appropriate
- Chromatography
Chromatography is used to separate a mixture into all of its various components
and identify them. There are many types of chromatography, one of them being
paper chromatography. It can be used to separate and identify dyes in black ink.
Two pencil lines are drawn on a piece of paper and a drop of black ink and other
drops of coloured dye are placed on one of the pencil lines. The paper is usually
placed in a beaker of suitable solvent, in this case butanol, ethanoic acid and
water, with the pencil line just touching the solvent. The solvent travels up the
paper and splits the black ink into its different components. The paper is
removed when the paper reaches the other pencil line and then dried. Identical
dyes travel the same distance up the paper and the unknown ones can be
inferred from the known ones. Chromatography is applied in forensic science
and used to ensure high food quality by testing the purity of substances.