What is the difference between elastic potential energy and chemical potential energy?

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Potential energy is the energy stored in a body that can be released later on to do work. There are various forms of potential energy depending on how the object received the energy. Elastic potential energy is the energy stored when an elastic object is stretched. The work done to stretch the elastic material is stored in the form of elastic potential energy. An example is a stretched spring. This stored energy is released and performs work when the elastic material reverts back to its original position. In comparison, chemical potential energy, is the energy released during the formation of chemical compounds. This energy is released when new bonds are formed, for example, we obtain energy when the food gets broken down into simpler compounds. When chemical compounds undergo combustion, the chemical potential energy is released, example is combustion of coal or diesel.

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