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Photosynthesis is a chemical reaction used by photosynthetic plants in order to make glucose. Displayed below, are the word and balanced symbol equations for the photosynthesis reaction.

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Background Knowledge Photosynthesis is a chemical reaction used by photosynthetic plants in order to make glucose. Displayed below, are the word and balanced symbol equations for the photosynthesis reaction. catalysed by chlorophyll Carbon dioxide + Water --> Glucose + Oxygen 6CO2(g) + 6H2O(l) --> C6H12O6(aq) + 6O2 sunlight The photosynthesis reaction converts carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen. The green pigment in the chloroplasts, called chlorophyll, acts as the catalyst in the photosynthesis reaction. It can be seen from the reactions, that the energy of the chemical bonds on the left-hand side of the equation is less than the energy of the chemical bonds on the right hand side; therefore the reactants must take in energy before the reaction can take place. This energy is provided by sunlight. The diagram below would correctly describe the photosynthesis reaction as plants take in the Sun's energy: As with all chemical reactions, the photosynthesis reaction has certain factors that affect the rate of the reaction. These factors can be adjusted to deliver conditions under which the reaction will take place most efficiently. These conditions are referred to as the optimum conditions. There are several factors that affect the rate of the photosynthesis reaction. These factors include the intensity of light, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the surrounding air, amount of water that the plant is provided with, temperature of the surrounding environment, wavelength of light that the plant receives. ...read more.


The catalyst in the photosynthesis reaction is chlorophyll, a green pigment in the chloroplasts. Chlorophyll is an enzyme so it works best when its war but not too hot. In order for this catalyst to work efficiently the optimum temperature is required. Obviously the more efficiently the catalyst functions, the higher the rate of reaction would be. The optimum temperature may differ slightly from plant to plant depending on the climate that the plant is adapted to. The illustration below shoes the general relationship between the temperature and the rate of photosynthesis: The graph below shows a general graph for how photosynthesis is affected by temperature: As we can see the graph shows us that as the temperature increases, so does the rate of photosynthesis, until a certain point. This is the optimum temperature. After this point as the temperature is increased, the rate of photosynthesis decreases and then at a certain point the enzymes are destroyed and the chlorophyll can no longer carry out its task. For this particular organisms/plant the enzyme becomes denatured at 45?C. * Another factor that affects the rate of photosynthesis is the concentration of carbon dioxide present in the air surrounding the organism/plant. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the reactants in the photosynthesis chemical reaction. It is therefore necessary that there is sufficient amount of carbon dioxide in the air in order to make enough glucose. ...read more.


Glucose is formed firstly then turned into starch to be stored up for when it is needed. Although photosynthesis is a complicated process it can be summed up in this equation: catalysed by chlorophyll Carbon dioxide + Water --> Glucose + Oxygen 6CO2(g) + 6H2O(l) --> C6H12O6(aq) + 6O2 sunlight It is important to the reaction that certain factors are present when it is occurring. We know that these are carbon dioxide, water, light and chlorophyll. Without these the reaction will not take place at all, but some of them also determine how quickly the reaction takes place. Water, carbon dioxide and light, along with temperature, all have a particular effect on the rate of photosynthesis. In terms of carbon dioxide the levels in the atmosphere do not really alter very much, but if gardeners wish to increase the rate of photosynthesis then sometimes carbon dioxide is pumped into greenhouses. Up to a certain point as temperature goes up so does the rate of reaction. After it reaches a certain point though the enzymes involved in the reaction become denatured and stop working properly. A decrease in the amount of water present may cause photosynthesis to occur at only half the normal rate. The reason for this is the stomata are being closed. The final factor that contributes is light. The chlorophyll uses light energy to perform photosynthesis. It can only photosynthesis while the chloroplasts are absorbing the light they are receiving. Chlorophyll only absorbs the red and blue ends of the visible light spectrum, the green light in the middle is reflected back. ...read more.

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