Equation for Photosynthesis

Equation for Photosynthesis

  • Photosynthesis is a biochemical process by which green plants, algae and some bacteria convert light energy, usually from the sun, into chemical energy.
  • The equation for photosynthesis summarizes this process:
    • 6CO2 + 6H2O + light energy → C6H12O6 + 6O2
  • In simpler terms, this equation states that carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O), in the presence of light energy, are transformed into glucose (C6H12O6) and oxygen (O2).

Components of the Equation

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2): Provided by the air, it is absorbed by plants through tiny openings in the leaves called stomata.
  • Water (H2O): Absorbed by the plant roots from the soil, it is transported to the leaves via xylem vessels.
  • Light energy: Captured by the chlorophyll in the chloroplasts of the plant cells.
  • Glucose (C6H12O6): The end product that serves as an energy source for the plant.
  • Oxygen (O2): The by-product released into the atmosphere, crucial in supporting life on earth.

Understanding the Photosynthesis Equation

  • The equation for photosynthesis demonstrates that water and carbon dioxide are reactants, and glucose and oxygen are products.
  • It also illustrates that photosynthesis is an energy-transformation process. Light energy is converted into chemical energy in the form of glucose.
  • 6 molecules of carbon dioxide combine with 6 molecules of water to form 1 molecule of glucose and 6 molecules of oxygen, demonstrating the principle of conservation of mass.
  • It’s important to note that although the simple equation for photosynthesis is balanced, in nature, photosynthesis is a complex series of many biochemical reactions rather than a single, instantaneous reaction.