What is Chemical Energy?

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Do you realize your body is full of chemical energy? Chemical energy is present in your body to enable performing daily tasks that you take for granted. Chemical energy is released when bonds form in a chemical reaction and may be exothermic or endothermic.

What Is the Meaning of Chemical Energy in Science?

In the world of science, chemical energy results from a chemical reaction as a type of potential energy. Chemical energy is stored in the bonds of molecules and atoms that make up a substance. When chemical energy is released from the substance, the substance is transformed into an entirely new substance. Chemical energy may be exothermic when the energy is released or endothermic in which the reaction requires energy to take place.

What Does Chemical Energy Do in the Human Body?

Your body uses chemical energy every day to perform daily tasks. Food contains calories and when you digest food, the energy is released. The molecules in food are broken down into smaller pieces. As the bonds between the atoms break or loosen, oxidation occurs. The chemical reaction involved in digestion supplies you with warmth, helps to maintain and repair your body and gives you the energy you need to move around.

What Does Chemical Energy Do in Plants?

Plants use chemical energy too. They perform photosynthesis when they use sunlight to make food for themselves. During photosynthesis, solar energy is converted to chemical energy in this process. The chemical energy is stored as glucose or sugar. Photosynthesis occurs in plant's leaves and the process requires sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to occur.

What Are the Types of Chemical Reactions?

Six types of chemical reactions exist: synthesis, combustion, single displacement, double displacement, decomposition and acid-base. Synthesis is when two simple substances combine and make a complex substance. In combustion, heat is released when the oxygen combines with other substances to change into water and carbon dioxide.

Single displacement occurs when some atoms from one substance transfer to another substance in the chemical reaction. Double displacement occurs when the atoms in one substance are exchanged with the atoms in another substance. Decomposition occurs when a complex substance breaks down into simpler substances as a result of a chemical reaction. Acid-base is similar to a double replacement chemical reaction and is when an acid and a base are involved.

What Are Some Examples of Chemical Energy?

When a fuel source, such as natural gas or wood burns, it releases chemical energy as a form of heat and light. After your burn wood, it changes into ashes, as a new substance.

Cooking food is an example of chemical energy, as you are using gas or electricity to heat or cook your meals.

When fossil fuels burn, chemical energy is used to make the electricity that you use on a daily basis.


About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing about chemistry, biology, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus for more than 12 years. She gained the knowledge in these fields by taking accelerated classes throughout college while gaining her degree.