Chapter

Chemical Energy

E. C. Pielou

in The Energy of Nature

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780226668062
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226668055 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226668055.003.0010
Chemical Energy

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Nearly every solid material on earth consists of chemical compounds, sometimes only one, sometimes several together. Solid substances composed of single elements uncombined with others are rarities; even “pure” gold and “pure” iron are almost never absolutely chemically pure. When elements combine to form compounds, energy is either produced (or liberated — “evolved,” as it is often called) or used up (“consumed”). A reaction that liberates energy, most often in the form of heat, is exothermic; a reaction that will take place only if energy is provided from some outside source is endothermic. This chapter discusses the following: the energy in chemical bonds; energy in chemical compounds; ice and stream; and chemical energy to electrical energy and back again.

Keywords: chemical compounds; chemical energy; chemical reactions; chemical bonds; ice; stream; electrical energy

Chapter.  3269 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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