Examples of Single Substances in Everyday Life and Their Definition and Characteristics

Examples of single substances – In this world consists of various kinds of substances, both single substances and mixtures. These substances become the support of human life. Like water which is a basic need and must be fulfilled in human daily life. Both daily needs and needs in the human body.

A pure substance is one of the purest substances provided by nature. It has not been mixed with other substances. So, what exactly is a single substance? Sinaumed’s can listen to explanations and examples of single substances in the following presentation.

Definition and Characteristics of a Single Substance According to Experts

A pure substance is a substance that is made up of the same kind of matter. In the Encyclopedia Britannica, a single substance is a substance composed of one type of atom or from atoms of the same kind. For example water, wood, salt, sugar, and 24 carat gold.

According to Petrucci, a single substance is a substance which in the process of changing the physical appearance of an object where its basic identity does not change. This is in line with David EG’s opinion regarding the grouping of a substance based on its form which is divided into two, namely a single substance and a mixture of substances.

While the characteristics of a single substance as follows.

  • Pure substances have a constant composition
  • Has the same properties
  • Composed of only one substance or material
  • Pure substances can be elements or compounds
  • Cannot be broken down chemically
  • Has no change in boiling point
  • Has no change in melting point
  • Its nature is pure, which is composed of one material and has not been mixed

Single Substance Classification

Pure substances are grouped into two, namely elements and compounds. The following is an explanation of the two categories summarized from the katadata.co.id page.

1. Elements

Single substances that cannot be broken down into simpler substances even using chemical reactions are called elements. This is in line with the definition of element in the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), which is defined as the smallest part of an object; parts of objects that cannot be divided by chemical processes; original material; original substance; element.

Meanwhile, according to David EG, elements are substances that cannot be broken down into simpler substances with chemical liquids. Meanwhile, Hendro formulated elements as the simplest pure substances.

It should be remembered that every substance is formed from a fixed arrangement and composition and has well-defined properties. The rules for writing the symbols of the elements were formulated by Jons Jacob Berzelius in 1813 as follows.

  • Use the element names in Latin.
  • The element symbol is taken from the first letter of the element’s name and written in capital letters.
  • If there are elements that have the same first letter of their name, then the symbol of one of the elements is added to one letter written in lower case.

Examples of elements include hydrogen (H), iron or ferum (Fe), oxygen (O), calcium (Ca), and so on. This element is further divided into several categories as follows.

  1. Metal Elements

Metal elements are characterized by a shiny white color, are able to conduct electric current, can conduct heat or heat, have high boiling and melting points, and are malleable. It belongs to solids. However, there is one metal element in liquid form, namely mercury. Here are some metal elements in everyday life.

  • Chromium (Cr), is used for car bumpers and can be mixed with steel to make stainless steel.
  • Iron (Fe), is the cheapest metal and can be alloyed with carbon to produce steel.
  • Nickel (Ni), this metal element is very resistant to air and water at ordinary temperatures. Therefore, nickel is used as a protective coating.
  • Copper (Cu), copper is used in electrical wires, jewelry and coins.
  • Zinc (Zn), zinc can be used as the roof of the house.
  • Platinum (Pt), platinum is used in car exhausts, electrical contacts.
  • Gold (Au), gold is a metal that is not reactive and is found in pure form. Gold is used for high-quality jewelry and electrical components
  1. Nonmetal Elements

Non-metallic elements can be recognized by several properties including shiny, non-temperable, and poor conductors of electric current. Non-metals are usually solid, liquid or gaseous. It also has low boiling and melting points.

The following are examples of some substances that are included in non-metallic elements.

  • Flour (F), this element can be mixed with toothpaste to strengthen teeth.
  • Bromine (Br), this element is used as a nerve sedative and as a mixture of fire extinguishers.
  • Iodine (I), this element is used as a wound antiseptic and additional iodine is used in table salt. Iodine can also be used as a starch test material in the flour industry.
  1. Semi Metal Elements

Semi-metallic elements are also known as metalloid elements. It has properties in between metals and nonmetals. The semi-metallic element has the characteristic of being shiny or non-shiny. This is an example of a semi-metallic element.

  • Silicon (Si), used in cutting tools, sanding, materials for making semiconductors, glasses, and ceramics.
  • Germanium (Ge), can be found from coal and concentrated zinc rock. Germanium is a semiconductor material that functions as an insulator at low temperatures and as a conductor at high temperatures
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2. Compound

Compounds are pure substances that can be broken down into simpler substances by chemical reactions. It is composed of two or more elements. Therefore, compounds can also be broken down into their constituent elements. The properties of elements are different from the properties of compounds.

For example, water (H 2 O) which is composed of a combination of hydrogen and oxygen in the form of gas to help combustion. However, when the two elements are mixed it will turn into water which is a compound to extinguish fires. The separation of elements from compounds is called electrolysis.

Here are some examples of compounds that can be found in everyday life.

  • Sodium chloride (NaCl) is table salt.
  • Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), namely desiccant.
  • Sucrose (C12H12O11) as a sweetener.
  • Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) as electrolyte.
  • Urea (CO(NH2)2) is used for fertilizer.
  • Hydrochloric acid (HCl) for cleaning floors.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) as a refreshing drink.
  • Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is used for building materials.
  • Acetic acid (CH3COOH) as food vinegar.
  • Ammonia (NH3) for refrigerant.

Single Substance Example

Examples of single substances are often found in everyday life, including the following.

1. Water

The first example of a single substance, Water is included in a single substance element with the chemical formula H 2 O, which means that each molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Earth is composed of approximately 71% water or there are 1.4 trillion cubic kilometers (330 million mi 3 ) of water.

It becomes an important compound on earth, but not on other planets. However, water is also thought to exist at the north pole and south pole of Mars.

Most of the water is stored in the oceans and in the polar ice caps and mountain peaks. Not only that, water can also be found in clouds, rivers, rain, surface fresh water, water vapor, sea ice, and lakes. Water has its own cycle, it will evaporate, rain, and the flow of water above the surface (springs, estuaries and rivers) will go to the sea.

All living things on earth depend on water for their life. Water with its properties can cause reactions that can make organic compounds replicate. It is also a solvent which is important for the body in metabolic processes.

Water is also needed in the process of photosynthesis and respiration. Photosynthesis uses sunlight to separate hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen will be used to form glucose and oxygen will be released into the air.

When humans lack water it will cause chaos. For example, the monopolization and privatization of water can lead to conflicts or disputes. In Indonesia itself has regulations regarding water, namely Law Number 11 of 1974 concerning Irrigation.

2. Wood

The second example of a single substance is wood. In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), the dictionary is a tree with a hard trunk; the hard part of the trunk (branches, branches, etc.) (which is usually used for building materials, etc.).

Meanwhile, in Wikipedia, wood is defined as the part of the trunk or branches and twigs of plants that hardens due to the lignification process (sitting). Wood is formed due to the accumulation of cellulose and lignin in the cell walls of various stem tissues.

Wood in everyday life is used for cooking, making furniture (chairs, tables, cabinets, etc.), building materials (walls, doors, windows, frames, etc.), paper materials, crafts, materials for making works of art, and so on. etc.

To learn more about wood, there is wood science, in which there are various materials regarding wood classification as well as its chemical and physical properties, wood mechanics in various handling conditions. Wood is selected according to their needs. Several types of wood were chosen because they have insulating properties, are easy to form, and are water-resistant.

Historically, woody plants are thought to have appeared in nature 395 to 400 million years ago. Humans have used it for thousands of years, primarily as a construction material for houses, weapons, industrial raw materials, and as fuel.

3. Kitchen Salt

The third example of a single substance, namely table salt, is a type of mineral that can make food taste salty. Kitchen salt available in the community is usually in the form of Sodium Chloride (NaCl) which is obtained from sea water. In its natural form, salt is rock salt or halite.

The body really needs salt. However, when consumed in excess or deficiency it will cause various diseases. For example high blood pressure. Kitchen salt is used for seasoning and food preservatives.

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In general, salt is used to add a salty taste to food. However, not completely salt only gives a salty taste. He can also enhance the taste of food. For example adding salt to salty foods. In that case, salt acts as another flavor enhancer, such as the sweet taste of a food.

Salt is also used as an ice cooler, it serves to lower the freezing temperature of water. By adding salt to the sugar it will make the brine have a lower freezing temperature than normal. The colder water is used to make foods that require cold temperatures, such as ice cream.

As a food preservative, salt works by breaking down the water activity in food. Salt will dry out food by absorbing all the water. This is consistent with the growth of bacteria, which will be difficult to thrive in dry places. Not only that, salt also kills bacteria by drawing water from inside the bacteria to a drier environment.

Although salt has many benefits. However, it should be used wisely as recommended, which is approximately 5 grams of salt for adults every day. Consuming too much salt will result in high blood pressure, increased chances of heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney problems.

4. Sugar

Sugar is an example of a single substance because it has a constant composition, is homogeneous, and has the same (consistent) properties in all its parts.

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that is used as a source of energy and the main trading commodity. Sugar is most traded in the form of solid sucrose crystals. Sugar is used to change the taste to sweet in food and drink.

An example of a simple sugar is glucose (which is produced from sucrose by enzymes or acid hydrolysis), where energy is stored to be used by cells.

Sugar as sucrose is obtained from sap, sugar beets, palm sugar and sugarcane. Meanwhile, other sources of sweeteners are obtained from dahlia tubers, corn kernels, and grapes. The process includes an extraction (squeezing) step followed by purification through distillation (distillation).

In Indonesia, the source of sugar has been from the flower liquid (sap) of coconut or palm sugar, as well as juice from sugarcane stalks (plants native to the archipelago, especially the eastern part). When the Dutch came and opened a colony on the island of Java, monoculture sugarcane gardens were opened in the 17th century. The first gardens were around Batavia.

Indonesia had reached the peak of the glory of sugarcane plantations in the early 1930s. At that time, there were 179 processing factories and production of up to three million tons of sugar per year. However, this situation declined when the economic crisis occurred which forced many factories out of business. At the end of the decade, only 35 factories were left with a production of 500 thousand tons of sugar per year.

5. 24 carat gold

The next example of a single substance is 24-karat gold. The purity of gold is determined by its karat level. The higher the karat level, the purer (without admixture or impurities) the gold contains.

The maximum karat gold level is 24 karat. So 24-karat gold is included in a single substance and consists of only one single substance.

In the periodic table, gold has the symbol “Au” (aurum) and atomic number 79. Gold is a metal that is soft and malleable, its hardness is only between 2.5-3 (on the Mohs scale). Gold can be identified by its yellow, shiny and soft characteristics. Gold does not react with other chemicals, but is attacked by chlorine, aqua regia and fluorine.

Gold metal is found mostly in gold nuggets or dust in rocks and in alluvial deposits. Gold-bearing minerals are usually associated with associated minerals ( gangue minerals ). Associated minerals include quartz, carbonate, flourpar, tourmaline, and several non-metallic minerals.

Gold formed by magmatism or concentrating on the surface. Some of the deposits are formed due to contact metasomatism and hydrothermal solutions. The mechanical concentration produces placer deposits . Gold deposits are grouped into two, namely primary deposits and placer deposits.

Countries in the world generally use gold as a standard for finance, jewelry, and electronics. The use of gold in finance and monetary is based on the absolute monetary value of gold itself against various currencies around the world.

Even though it is officially listed on world commodity exchanges, the price of gold is listed in US dollars. In the monetary field, gold is usually used in the form of bullions or gold bars in various weight units ranging from grams to kilograms.