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Thread: Photosynthesis - why 6 CO2 &cH20?

  1. #1 Photosynthesis - why 6 CO2 &cH20? 
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    This is a very basic question from someone who should know better, but has never really stopped to enquire after this basic fact of the photosynthesis equation. But it suddenly struck me that I have always taken the equation for granted, and now I want to find out precisely why it is always the exact figure of 6 parts CO2, etc? I confess I don't have much idea of what this equation looks like in practise, ie what 6CO2 would appear like as it entered the plant, so I am unable to visualize the equation in action quantitatively, only its results. So, what happens if it were 5 parts CO2, would you end up with no reaction?


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Zonenblick View Post
    This is a very basic question from someone who should know better, but has never really stopped to enquire after this basic fact of the photosynthesis equation. But it suddenly struck me that I have always taken the equation for granted, and now I want to find out precisely why it is always the exact figure of 6 parts CO2, etc? I confess I don't have much idea of what this equation looks like in practise, ie what 6CO2 would appear like as it entered the plant, so I am unable to visualize the equation in action quantitatively, only its results. So, what happens if it were 5 parts CO2, would you end up with no reaction?
    It's because you are making a glucose molecule in the standard equation. Glucose has 6 carbon atoms in it, so you need 6 molecules of CO2 to make each glucose molecule. 6CO2 + 6H2O -> C6H12O6 (glucose) + 6O2.


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    Thanks.
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