Chemical energy is that which is either released or absorbed when a chemical reaction takes place, such as the release of heat and electrical energy from a hydrogen fuel cell. Another example is the heat release derived from burning wood or other organic substances. Burning represents a commonly relied upon chemical reaction used to release the stored energy in a wide variety of biomass fuels ranging from coal and natural gas to oil and other fossil fuel derivatives.
Chemical bonds store energy and the proper chemical reactions will release that stored energy for human use. Most of the stored energy comes from the sun through photosynthesis, a process of absorption and storing of solar energy in organic mass until it is released through burning. The exploitation of biomass fuel, however, does not come without drawbacks because burning them also produces byproducts which are harmful to the environment.
Burning biomass fuel has produced atmospheric carbon dioxide levels that are higher than what have occurred in 600,000 years. This has led scientists to seek out alternative forms of energy-releasing chemical reactions that can provide for human energy needs without the drawbacks of environmental pollution. Some of the new technologies being explored include the development of improved catalysts for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, more efficient battery components and methods that can release energy from biomass fuels through chemical reactions other than burning.Learn More
There are a few telltale signs that can help indicate that a chemical reaction has taken place; these include the creation of one or more new substances and a noticeable energy change from the reaction site. However, telling whether a chemical reaction has actually taken place is not always very easy to observe.Full Answer >
The advantages and disadvantages of chemical energy depend on the ways in which energy is stored and released during a chemical reaction. Chemical energy is the force that powers everything in the world, from the human body to vehicles on the road.Full Answer >
Energy can play many different roles in chemical reactions, and it can be a product of a chemical reaction, a necessary component for a chemical reaction, or energy can have little part in a chemical reaction. Chemical reactions that require additional energy are called endothermic reactions, while those that produce energy are called exothermic reactions.Full Answer >
Thermal decomposition is a chemical reaction where heat causes one substance to break into two or more different substances. The heat is used to break down the bonds holding the atoms of the original molecules together, so the reaction usually consumes more heat energy than it releases.Full Answer >