Have you ever been to a display of chemical energy?
You probably have, but you called it something else. At a display of chemical energy, there are usually many different colored lights and a lot of noise.
Rockets shoot up into the sky.
Firecrackers make loud bangs.
Pinwheels spin around very quickly.
Stars shoot out of Roman candles.
Yes, fireworks use chemical energy.
Fireworks are made of a special exploding powder called gunpowder, as well as other explosive chemicals. These chemicals contain lots of energy. When gunpowder burns, it releases large amounts of different gases. These gases are released at great speed. So the energy escapes quickly and with lots of noise into the air. The colored lights of the fireworks are made by burning other chemicals.
When a firework has finished burning, all that is left inside is some black powder which does not burn. The high-energy chemicals in the gunpowder have been changed into high-energy, moving gases.
These gases have created kinetic energy of motion and sound. The change that takes place inside the firework is called a chemical change.
Fireworks are just one example of a chemical change.
There are many more examples taking place all around you. Car engines use chemical energy, too. High-energy molecules of gasoline are burned inside a car engine. The gasoline molecules turn into gas molecules that produce kinetic energy.
Chemical energy can also be produced without burning. Animals and humans use chemical energy in food. They use the chemical energy to work and keep warm. Light energy from the sun can also be changed into chemical energy.
This happens when sunlight reaches the leaves of plants.
The plants trap this energy and use it to make a special substance called glucose. The glucose contains chemical energy. Living things can get energy from glucose.
Car engines run on a mixture of gasoline and air. When this mixture comes into contact with an electric spark, heat energy and kinetic energy are produced.