Where is chemical energy stored?

Where is chemical energy stored?

In chemistry,the term chemical energy used for  the potential energy stock in the chemical bonds among the  atoms and molecules. When chemical reactions happen , these bonds are shattered and reformed, releasing or absorbing energy in the process. This energy can be released as

  • Heat
  • Light
  • or other forms of energy.

Link with potential energy

Chemical energy is a form of potential energy because it has the potential to be converted into other kinds of energy, such as

  • Mechanical
  • or electrical energy.


Chemical system determine which form of chemical energy is involved. Few examples of chemical energy are given below:

Bond energy:

Gibbs free energy:


Activation energy:


Bond energy:

This is the energy stocked in chemical bonds among atoms. Disruption of these bonds cause  to eliminate  energy, while creating  new bonds requires energy.

Gibbs free energy:

This is the quantity of energy available to perform  work in a chemical reaction at a constant

  • Temperature
  • and pressure.

It is determined by deducting the energy need to bring the reactants to the reaction conditions from the energy emitted by the reaction.


This is the heat energy stocked in a chemical system at a constant pressure. It is a degree of the total energy of the system and contain both

  • the energy stored in the chemical bonds
  • and any other forms of energy, such as kinetic energy.

Activation energy:

This is the energy necessarily required to initiate a chemical reaction by disrupting the initial bonds among the atoms or molecules. It is often a fence to the reaction proceeding, and enzymes in living organisms can help to decrease the activation energy required.

where the chemical energy stored?

Chemical system determined which type of chemical energy is stored in it. However, commonly chemical energy is stocked in the bonds among the atoms or molecules.

When atoms bond together to form molecules, they perform so by sharing or donating electrons among them. The energy that is essential to form these bonds is stocked in the resulting molecule, and can be eliminated when the bonds are brokrn. This energy can be in the form of

  • heat, light
  • or electrical energy
  • among others.

For example, in the case of fossil fuels, such as

  • coal
  • or oil,

chemical energy is stocked in the form of hydrocarbons( molecules made up of hydrogen and carbonand their derivative).

When these hydrocarbons are used

  • the bonds between the atoms are broken
  • and the stored chemical energy is released in the form of heat and light.

Cellular respiration

Similarly, in the case of food, chemical energy is stocked in the form of molecules such as

  • glucose
  • and lipids,

which can be torn down through a process called cellular respiration to create energy that our bodies could be utilized for numerous functions.


Overall, chemical energy is stocked in the bonds among  atoms and molecules, and can be withdraw  performing  chemical reactions.