What a Reaction!
In a Flash
Petrochemical refinery plant
Chemical energy is energy stored in the bonds of chemical compounds, like atoms and molecules. This energy is released when a chemical reaction takes place.
Usually, once chemical energy has been released from a substance, that substance is transformed into a completely new substance.
What is chemical energy?
Chemical energy is stored in the bonds that connect atoms with other atoms and molecules with other molecules. Because chemical energy is stored, it is a form of potential energy.
When a chemical reaction takes place, the stored chemical energy is released.
Heat is often produced as a by-product of a chemical reaction – this is called an exothermic reaction.
How is chemical energy used?
Chemical energy is the most widely used type of energy in the world, as it is crucial to the existence of humans and the natural world.
Here are some examples of chemical energy in action:
Humans consume chemical energy contained in food.
Chemical energy in food
The food we eat contains stored chemical energy. As the bonds between the atoms in food loosen or break, a chemical reaction takes place, and new compounds are created.
The energy produced from this reaction keeps us warm, helps us move, and allows us to grow. Different foods store different amounts of energy.
When wood burns, the chemical energy stored in it is released as heat.
Chemical energy in wood
Dry wood contains stored chemical energy. When you burn that wood in a fireplace, chemical energy is released and converted into thermal energy (heat) and light energy.
And what about the wood? Following the chemical reaction, it's now turned into a new substance – ash.
What are some other examples of stored chemical energy?
Stored chemical energy can be found in:
Vehicle air bags
What Do You Mean?
Sunlight creates a chemical reaction that gives plants energy to grow.
Chemical energy is energy that is stored in the bonds between chemical compounds, such as atoms and molecules.
A chemical reaction is the process of atoms being rearranged due to a chemical change, resulting in a new substance being produced.
An exothermic reaction is a form of chemical reaction when heat is produced as a by-product.
We all use chemical energy every day to perform daily functions – you're using chemical energy right now to read this page!
Chemical energy can be converted into electrical energy. A good example of this type of conversion can be seen at a power plant where coal is converted into electrical power.
When we burn Natural Gas, the chemical energy is converted into light and heat.
Chemical energy is energy that is stored in the bonds between chemical compounds. It is released when a chemical reaction takes place. A chemical reaction results in a new substance being produced.
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