Chemical Energy

What is Energy?

Energy is defined as the ability to do work where work is the movement of a body to be some force. We need energy all the time and energy comes in various forms.

What is Chemical Energy?

Chemical energy is defined as

the energy which is stored in the bonds of chemical compounds (molecules and atoms).

It is released in the chemical reaction and mostly produces heat as a by-product, known as an exothermic reaction. The examples of stored chemical energy are biomass, batteries, natural gas, petroleum, and coal. Mostly, when the chemical energy is released from a substance, it is transformed into a new substance completely.

For instance, when an explosion goes off, the chemical energy in it is transferred to the surroundings as thermal energy, kinetic energy, and sound energy.

Chemical Energy

Chemical Energy in Everyday Life

  • We know that plants need solar energy to produce sugar from carbon dioxide to water. Sugar, water and carbon dioxide stay together by chemical bonds that hold the chemicals together.
  • For instance, all sugars consist of oxygen, carbon and hydrogen atoms held together by chemical bonds. These atoms do not connect together automatically; rather some energy is required to make them stay together.
  • Plants use solar energy to put the hydrogen, the carbon and the oxygen atoms as a whole in the form of sugar. This is a suitable example of energy transformation where energy is transformed from one form to another. Here, solar energy is transformed into chemical energy and prevents from falling apart.

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Chemical Energy Examples

The dry wood is the storage of chemical energy. When it burns, the chemical energy is liberated and converted into light energy and thermal energy. Please note that the wood transforms into ashes which is a new substance.

The food we eat is also another appropriate example of stored chemical energy, released during digestion. The molecules in food breakdown into small pieces. When the bonds between these atoms break, a chemical reaction takes place, and new compounds are formed and as the bonds break, the oxidation takes place instantly.

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