Chemical Potential Energy - cK-12

Chemical Potential Energy
Ck12 Science
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Printed: January 5, 2016
Ck12 Science
Chapter 1. Chemical Potential Energy
Chemical Potential Energy
• Define chemical potential energy.
• Give examples of chemical potential energy.
Where did gunpowder come from?
Gun powder was originally developed by the Chinese in the ninth century AD, primarily for rockets. This material is
composed of charcoal, sulfur, and saltpeter (potassium nitrate). The reaction involves the conversion of the charcoal
to carbon dioxide with the potassium nitrate providing the extra oxygen needed for a rapid reaction. Sulfur was
included to stabilize the product, but gunpowder is still highly explosive.
Types of Energy
Two basic types of energy exist: potential energy and kinetic energy. Potential energy is stored energy. It has not yet
been released, but is ready to go. Kinetic energy is energy of motion. It causes work to be done through movement.
Chemical Potential Energy
Energy is the capacity for doing work or supplying heat. When you fill your car with gasoline, you are providing it
with potential energy. Chemical potential energy is the energy stored in the chemical bonds of a substance. The
various chemicals that make up gasoline contain a large amount of chemical potential energy that is released when
the gasoline is burned in a controlled way in the engine of the car. The release of that energy does two things. Some
of the potential energy is transformed into work, which is used to move the car. At the same time, some of the
potential energy is converted to heat, making the car’s engine very hot. The energy changes of a system occur as
either heat or work, or some combination of both.
A dragster is able to accelerate because
of the chemical potential energy of its fuel.
The burning of the fuel also produces
large amounts of heat.
Dynamite is another example of chemical potential energy. The major component of dynamite is nitroglycerin, a
very unstable material. By mixing it with diatomaceous earth, the stability is increased and it is less likely to explode
if it receives a physical shock. When ignited, the nitroglycerin explodes rapidly, releasing large amounts of nitrogen
and other gases along with a massive amount of heat.
Dynamite explosion.
• Chemical potential energy is energy available in the chemical bonds of a compound.
Read the material at the link below and answer the questions:
1. How is chemical potential energy released?
Chapter 1. Chemical Potential Energy
2. Give examples of chemical potential energy.
3. What is chemical potential energy dependent upon?
1. What is chemical potential energy?
2. How is gasoline used as kinetic energy?
3. How is dynamite used as kinetic energy?
• chemical potential energy: The energy stored in the chemical bonds of a substance.
• kinetic energy: Energy of motion.
• potential energy: Stored energy.
1. Mike Cumpston (Wikipedia: Mcumpston). .
2. Image copyright Juerg Schreiter, 2014. . Used under license from
3. Courtesy fo the US Marine Corpos. .