Read more to find out whether chemical energy is kinetic or potential.
Perhaps you picture labs, burners, and test tubes when you think of chemical energy. Even if we have never set foot inside a lab, we can still learn more about the effects of chemical energy on our daily lives even though the study of it undoubtedly involves the sciences.
But is chemical energy kinetic or potential? Chemical bonds between atoms and molecules store a specific kind of potential energy known as chemical energy. Please keep reading.
What is Chemical Energy?
A vital energy store that we have at our disposal is chemical energy. Potential energy is the energy held within an object.
Chemical bonds that hold atoms together in molecules are where chemical energy is found stored as potential energy. These bonds contain chemical energy that can be released by rupturing them or reforming them with fuels or other reactants.
This bond-breaking and bond-forming process are referred to as a chemical reaction. A chemical reaction produces a new substance.
The energy necessary to convert chemical potential energy into chemical energy is provided by the fuels or reactants. It has become essential to our energy systems because of our capacity to transport and harness chemical potential energy.
What is Potential Chemical Energy?
As we’ve seen, potential energy is energy that is held within an object. The energy in a substance’s chemical bonds, known as potential chemical energy, is the same store of energy as kinetic energy.
Let’s use a car as an illustration. Now let’s put gasoline in its tank, which is made up of various chemical compounds that have stored energy that is released when they burn. It produces an exothermic reaction when burned in a combustion engine. The energy that is released propels the vehicle to a certain extent, and the remainder heats the engine.
Chemical energy is conceivably present in other fuels. The chemical energy released by biofuels and propane is also what makes cars move. The chemical energy of coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels is released by power plants to produce electricity.
What is Kinetic Energy?
Greek is the language of origin for the word kinetic. In the Greek language, the word kinesis means “to move”. William Thomson is credited with creating this name.
As we saw earlier, an object has potential energy when it is stationary. However, when that same object starts to move, Kinetic Energy is released.
While kinetic energy (KE) is the energy an object has as a result of its motion, kinetic energy (PE) is the energy an object has as a result of its position. In other words, kinetic energy refers to the effort required to accelerate an object from rest to the required velocity.
Even moving particles are affected by this. A person who throws a ball, a moving train, or a water drop all fall under the category of kinetic energy.
How is Potential Energy Converted to Chemical Energy?
The first law of thermodynamics, also known as the law of conservation of energy, states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. In contrast, energy can only change from one type of energy to another.
The fracturing and reformation of bonds between atoms in molecules have demonstrated how a substance’s potential energy is converted into chemical energy. There is the creation of a new substance or substance. If the reaction generates more energy than was initially stored, we refer to it as an exothermic reaction. An endothermic reaction is one that consumes or absorbs more energy than was initially stored.
A tasty way to comprehend chemical energy is through food. Pick a juicy orange as we travel to California’s groves. Photosynthesis is responsible for the orange tree’s growth and fruit production. By means of photosynthesis, the tree transformed the energy from the sun into sugars like glucose. The orange contains glucose, which is the tree’s reserve of potential energy.
When we eat the orange, our bodies begin a chemical reaction in our stomachs that breaks down the glucose and other molecules that are high in potential energy. At the molecular level, chemical reactions release the bonds’ stored potential energy.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a newly formed substance. All living things’ cells contain the energy-conducting molecule ATP.
How Do We Use Chemical Energy to Generate Power?
Around the world, we generate heat and electricity using chemical energy.
Methane, natural gas, oil, and petroleum are examples of fossil fuels that we burn to create steam that turns turbines to generate electricity. On a smaller scale, people also use these fuels to generate heat to warm up buildings.
Burning biomass, biofuels, biodiesel, and other products use the same process to generate heat or electricity. We use a variety of fuels to run our cars, airplanes, lawnmowers, and other devices. Batteries can also store chemical energy.
To generate electricity, solar panels transform the energy of the sun’s rays into chemical energy. Our buildings can be powered by electricity and can also be lit, heated, and cooled.
What Are the Disadvantages of Chemical Energy?
Chemical energy has a few “cons” that should be mentioned. To begin with, chemical energy isn’t a clean source of power. The majority of chemical energy sources can only be produced through combustion, other forms of consumption, or by-product production. Byproducts of those processes, such as emissions, can have a negative effect on the environment.
Since they must be replenished, chemical energy sources are also not regarded as renewable energy sources. Remember the campfire we had? The log that has been stoking the fire for so long has burned out and is now just ash. Ash cannot be transformed into the wood; the only thing we can do is add more wood to the fire.
Chemical Energy: It Powers Our Lives
Every day, chemical energy keeps us alive. In fact, it gives life its power. Chemical compounds contain this energy in their bonds, waiting to be released in endothermic or exothermic reactions.
Energy can only change forms; it cannot be created or destroyed. Chemical energy is just one of the many types of energy. It seldom spontaneously exudes its innate energy. It needs an ignition or catalyst instead.
Chemical energy is not truly renewable, and some of its byproducts can be harmful. These drawbacks make it difficult to rely on chemical energy. But as technology develops, we can be sure that both the planet and our own futures are brighter.