Chemical energy © Siemens Stiftung 2018
CC BY-SA 4.0 international

Chemical energy

Image

Chart:
Chemical energy as binding energy between atoms (as a potential curve in the illustration).

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2019-03-21
Chemical energy is present both in the bond between atoms and molecules as well as in the potential for chemical bonding. This energy can be released in the form of heat during the bonding process or when those bonds are broken. This “heat of reaction" is also referred to as reaction enthalpy (H). The release of heat (dH < 0) is referred to as an exothermic reaction. An endothermic reaction is when heat is absorbed (dH > 0).
Every mixture of source materials that can react to produce end products can be regarded as a potential source of chemical energy.
Microscopically speaking, this chemical energy can be found in the bonds between individual atoms, as illustrated in the potential curve.

Information and ideas:
Chemical energy is a form of energy that is easy to store – whether in the human body or in batteries. An additional example is hydrogen as a chemical energy store for renewable energy sources.
Illustration
Chemistry; Physics
Grade 10 to 13
Middle/high school
Chart; Energy; Energy supply; Power generation; Renewable energy
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© Siemens Stiftung 2018
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