chemical compounds are composed of atoms connected by chemical
bonds. These bonds contain chemical energy that was stored
when the bond was formed. Coal and oil, for example, contain
a substantial amount of chemical energy.
by Tom Chandler, OME educator, 2001-02
energy can be retrieved when the bond is broken at a later
time. Since, for most compounds, this chemical energy can
be stored in the compound for an almost indefinite time,
chemical energy is a type of potential energy. We can store
the coal or oil and release the chemical energy by burning
it whenever it is needed.
graphic below illustrates that energy is releases as a chemical
bond is broken. In the process the chemical compound will
be changed into one or more other substances.
Below are a
number of examples of sources of chemical energy. Chemical energy
is one of our most abundant and important sources of energy.
- Natural Gas
are called fossil fuels since they were formed from the remains
of biological organisms. When burned they give off their chemical
energy, usually into heat energy. They are our main sources
of energy and are used for huge power plants. And of course
there is the charcoal and methane gas that we use in our barbecue
grills and the gasoline that we use in our cars that are derived
to create a hot flame for welding steel.
for blowing up obstacles, creating tunnels, etc.
is just starting to be used in fuel cells.
are a number of substances that when placed into a battery give
up their energy into electrical energy.
butane lighters, propane torches, and lighter fluid.
For more information,
check out the websites below.