Chemical energy is the potential of a chemical substance to undergo a transformation through a chemical reaction to transform other chemical substance. Chemical energy may be released during a chemical reaction, in the form of heat. We need energy all the time and energy comes in various forms. t is a type of potential energy. Chemical energy is stored within the bond of the atoms and molecules that make up a substance. Once chemical energy is released from a substance, the substance is transformed into a new substance.
Uses of chemical energy:
- When the chemical bonds are broken, the potential energy is released in the form of kinetic energy or energy of motion and heat or non-useable energy. The kinetic energy is used to do work, such as contract our muscles and produce heat that helps to keep our bodies warm.
- The food we consume is the most important and common use of chemical energy. We use a lot of energy to live, work, think etc. Our body is a chemical machine that breaks down the food to produce heat and other forms of energy.
- Plants convert solar energy into chemical energy through a process called photosynthesis during the process carbon dioxide and oxygen are converted into sugar and water with the help of the sun.
- The other forms of fossil fuels are wood, oil, coal and other forms of fossil fuels are burned inside the burning engines to convert chemical energy into heat or motion. To produce electric energy these fuels are burned, light and mechanical energy depending on the device and the purpose of use.
Sources of chemical energy:
- Wood: Wood is available everywhere and is a very easy source of chemical energy. From ancient times woods is used in burning and to give out heat and energy.
- Coal: Coal is the very common source of chemical energy. Coal is formed when excessive heat and pressure under the Earth surface act upon rocks for millions of years. Coal is burned to obtain chemical energy.
- Gasoline: This gasoline is used in the cars and is also a source of chemical energy. The gasoline is burned in the combustion chamber of the engine to produce chemical energy.
- Photosynthesis: Photosynthesis is the process through which the plants through the sun they get converted into chemical energy. It gets involved in the chemical reactions in which the solar energy is trapped by the plant molecule and then changed into chemical energy to be used in the form of glucose for consumption.
Chemical energy facts:
- Chemical energy is found in the bonds of chemical compounds within groups of atoms which are bonded together. Everything in the universe consists of tiny atoms. To help you understand the size of an atom, just imagine that they are so tiny that literally millions of atoms would make up the size of a pinhead.
- Chemical energy is released during a chemical reaction or transformation to other chemical substances.
- Chemical energy can be absorbed as well as released. This depends on the making and breaking of bonds during a chemical reaction.
- Chemical energy affects many things in our everyday lives and provides us with many important functions from heating the home, running the car to providing our bodies with energy! In fact, it is a necessity to mankind!
- A simple example of a very important use of chemical energy: A log fire logs of wood provide a store of chemical energy which is released as the wood starts to burn. The wood is replaced by another substance known as ash. As the power is released, it converts to different kinds of energy known as light and thermal heat.
- When a chemical reaction releases heat, it is known as an exothermic reaction. Burning wood on a log fire is a good example of an exothermic reaction.
- During a chemical reaction, the energy of a chemical substance can convert to other types of energy.
- 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.