Examples of Chemical Energy in Everyday Life – Top 6

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By definition, chemical energy is a form of potential energy that is stored in chemical bonds of chemical substances. This type of energy can be easily converted into other types of energy by chemical reactions.

During a chemical reaction, this energy is released (exothermic) or absorbed (endothermic) when the chemical bonds are made or broken. In fact, they are often released in the form of heat or light.


Chemical Energy Examples in Everyday Life

If you think, you can’t relate to the uses of chemical energy in our daily life. Well, here is your chance to think again…!!!

  • Chemical Batteries
  • Air Bags
  • Food we Eat
  • Combustion
  • Photosynthesis
  • Instant Cold/Hot Packs


Chemical Batteries

Image Source: Amazon

Of course, you are familiar with batteries. Be it your cell phones, or your inverters, they are in use everywhere. So, what are batteries anyway?

By definition, batteries are a device in which the chemical energy of the stored chemicals is converted into electrical energy.

When a chemical reaction takes place inside the battery, electrons start to flow from one side of the battery to another which we use to do some useful work.

Air Bags


An airbag is a vehicle occupant-resistant system that can provide soft cushioning to the occupant during accidents. It typically consists of a flexible bag that contains sodium azide (NaN3), an inflation module, an airbag cushion, and an impact sensor.

An airbag functions or work properly due to the chemical reaction that takes place inside it. When a vehicle meets an accident, as a result, the impact sensor turns on the electrical circuit which in turn ignites the sodium azide present inside the airbag.

The heat generated due to the ignition decomposes the sodium azide into sodium metal and nitrogen gas, which, again, in turn, inflates the airbag protecting the occupant from severe injury. The chemical reaction that takes place inside the airbag is an exothermic reaction.

Food we Eat

Image Source: Raising Children Network

Ever wondered, after having your meal, how you instantly get energized…!!! Well, not instantly, but after some time.

When we eat food, the chemical energy inside the food converts into other forms of energy that we use to do different types of work.

Just to let know, this type of energy conversion comes under the category of endothermic reactions.


Image Source: Grist Magazine

Any type of combustion, be it the burning of wood, coal, or any type of petroleum product, they are able to produce heat and light due to chemical reactions. (This type of chemical reaction comes under the category of exothermic reaction).

For example, during the combustion of wood, the chemical potential energy stored inside the cellulose of wood converts into light or heat (thermal energy), of course, also releasing water vapor and carbon dioxide into the surrounding.


Image Credit: How Stuff Works

Unlike us, plants make their own food through the process known as Photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a process by which plants make their own food by converting solar energy into chemical energy which by the way also comes under the category of an endothermic reaction.

During the process of photosynthesis, solar energy or sunlight gets absorbed by the leaves which later with water and carbon dioxide is converted into food. Therefore, as a result, a plant grows.

Instant Hot/Cold Packs

Image Source: Grainger

Whether it’s a hot pack or a cold pack, both of them are used to ease the pain that we get from a sore back or sprained ankle. However, their chemical process is totally opposite from each other.

For example, in the case of instant cold packs, when Ammonium Nitrate is mixed with water, the chemical reaction between them takes away the heat from the water, making the whole process an endothermic reaction.

On the other hand, in the case of instant hot packs, when calcium chloride or magnesium sulfate is mixed with water, the chemical reaction between them releases energy in the form of heat, making the whole process an exothermic reaction.

Some other Real World Examples of Chemical in Everyday Life:

Apart from the above-mentioned ones, I am also mentioning a few here.

  • Biomass
  • Cellular Respiration
  • Burning of Propane
  • Rusting of Iron
  • Explosives
  • Burning of Candles, etc.

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I am currently working with Cuemath as an online maths educator and teaching students from all over the world. Since I did my BSc in non-medical where I chose physics in my master's (MSc) and decided to deliver my knowledge to help the students in grasping the respective topics of physical sciences by having a glance at my articles.

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