10 Examples of Chemical Compounds

From the air we breathe to fuels powering society, mixtures of chemical elements that form compounds exist all around us. Familiar examples of compounds include table salt, composed of bonded sodium and chloride, water’s hydrogen and oxygen molecules, and glucose’s carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen ingredients providing metabolic energy.

Examples of Compounds

Here are some of the most common Examples of Compounds:

1. Water (H2O)

Water is comprised of two hydrogen atoms covalently bonded to a single oxygen atom in a bent formation. This polarity allows it to readily dissolve ionic compounds as well as provide an essential solvent for biological systems.

image showing Water as an example of compound

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Water isn’t just wet, it’s a compound of 2 hydrogens and 1 oxygen atom, bonded together in a V-shaped molecule.

2. Sodium Chloride (NaCl)

Table salt consists of a giant ionic lattice array of smaller metallic sodium cations (Na+) surrounded by larger chlorine anions (Cl-). The polarity allows table salt to dissolve into essential electrolytes in biological contexts while its savoriness drives seasoning applications.

image showing Sodium Chloride as an example of compound

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Over 230 million tons of table salt is produced globally per year.

3. Sucrose (C12H22O11)

The molecular structure of sucrose sugar is a disaccharide, containing 12 carbon atoms bonded with hydrogen and oxygen in a ring formation called a glycosidic bond between glucose and fructose.

image showing Sucrose  as an example of compound

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The average American consumes over 20 teaspoons of added sugar daily amounting to around 66 pounds per year.

4. Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3)

Sodium bicarbonate forms crystalline ionic structures composed of sodium cations bonded to bicarbonate anions. This polarity allows it to dissolve and act as a leavening agent in cooking.

image showing Sodium Bicarbonate as an example of compound

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Over 6 million tons of sodium bicarbonate are produced annually for applications from cooking to pharmaceuticals.

5. Nitrous Oxide (N2O)

Gaseous nitrous oxide used for anesthesia consists of two tightly bonded nitrogen atoms joined to an oxygen atom in a linear formation.

image showing Nitrous Oxide as an example of compound

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As an analgesic gas, nitrous oxide is considered 25% more potent by weight than morphine is.

6. Polyethylene (C2H4)n

Polyethylene’s structure links many ethylene monomers into extremely long, flexible and durable polymer chains.

image showing Polyethylene as an example of compound

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Global plastic production has now exceeded 380 million tons annually of which polyethylene is the single largest component.

7. Ammonium Nitrate (NH4NO3)

This common fertilizer is comprised of the polyatomic ammonium cation (NH4+) paired to nitrate anions (NO3-).

image showing Ammonium Nitrate as an example of compound

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Over 21 million tons per year of ammonium nitrate fertilizers are manufactured globally, valued at $16 billion.

8. Acetylsalicylic Acid (C9H8O4)

The compound commonly known as aspirin has the chemical name acetylsalicylic acid. Its functional groups thin blood while reducing inflammation signals.

image showing Acetylsalicylic Acid as an example of compound

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An estimated 50,000 tons of aspirin are produced and consumed globally per year.

9. Glucose Sugar (C6H12O6)

Glucose, a simple monosaccharide sugar, contains 6 carbon atoms double bonded to 5 hydroxyl groups and a single hydrogen atom per its molecular structure.

image showing Glucose as an example of compound

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The average person metabolically processes about 160 grams of glucose sugar each day, making it a prime cellular energy source.

10. Ozone (O3)

Ozone consists of three bound oxygen atoms instead of the usual O2 pair. This chemical instability drives oxidative planet-shielding capacity but also constitutes ground pollution.

image showing Ozone as an example of compound

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About 90% of atmospheric ozone resides in the ozone layer about 9-18 miles up but is depleted by CFCs and other pollutants.

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