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The story of photosynthesis

The story of photosynthesis

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The story of photosynthesis

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  1. The story of photosynthesis Take a look at how plants make their food. We know that the food plants made from photosynthesis are called CARBOHYDRATES. If we look at the word……. CARBOHYDRATE… we can tell quite a lot about it.. Carbohydrates contain the atoms CARBON, HYDROGEN and OXYGEN So, which part of the word means that it contains carbon? And which part of the word means that it contains hydrogen? Now, can you suggest what the letters ATE mean when placed on the end of a chemical name?

  2. The diagram below is a chemical picture of one carbohydrate. Count how many carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms this chemical has…

  3. The carbohydrate is called glucose – it is a simple sugar and you are probably very familiar with its taste if you have eaten or drunk any of the products here.

  4. How do plants make carbohydrate? • Now.. if you were a plant and you had to make this carbohydrate what atoms are you going to need and where could you get them from? • If we had some carbon dioxide, could we make carbohydrates from it? What atoms would still be missing?

  5. If we had some water as well as the carbon dioxide, what extra atom could this supply?

  6. OK – suppose we have the carbon dioxide and some water – we would need to split the water up to release the hydrogen from it. • The process of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen is very difficult. • However - with the help of sunlight energy plants can split the water and use the hydrogen to put with the carbon and oxygen from our carbon dioxide.

  7. When light energy is used to split water, there is a product left over that is not needed. What is this product? • You may have come across this idea before – it seems that photosynthesis results in the production of carbohydrates and also releases oxygen into the air – which is a good thing as we will see later.

  8. We know that plants use sunlight energy to split water (H2O) into hydrogen and oxygen. • The hydrogen is added to the carbon dioxide to make CARBOHYDRATES such as glucose. • The oxygen produced from this splitting of water is released into our atmosphere. • We summarise this using a chemical equation: 6 CO2 + 6 H20 ------------ C6H12O6 + 6 O2 carbon water glucose oxygen dioxide