Where does a plant store glucose

photosynthesis

What is photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis is a biochemical process that occurs in plants, algae and some types of bacteria. The plants produce glucose and oxygen (O2) from light, water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The formula of photosynthesis looks like this:

  • 6 H2O + 6 CO2 + light = 6 O2 + C6H12O6

Or written out:

  • 6 molecules of water + 6 molecules of carbon dioxide + light = 6 molecules of oxygen + glucose

Plants have to carry out this process because they need the resulting glucose for the production of fats and proteins. O2 - the vital oxygen - is only a by-product; at the end of the synthesis, the plant releases it into the environment.

Only when algae and bacteria carry out photosynthesis did an oxygen-containing atmosphere develop on earth - the condition for organic life and thus also for humans. Another prerequisite for life on earth is that photosynthesis requires the high concentration of poisonous carbon dioxide CO2 - the plants take it from the air and convert it into O2.

Where exactly does photosynthesis take place?

Photosynthesis takes place in the green leaves or needles of a plant; more precisely in the chloroplasts, which are located in the plant cells. In a broader sense, however, the entire sheet is important for the process. For example, its sponge fabric transports CO2 and O2; the water ducts known as xylene feed the required H2O into the process.

How does photosynthesis work?

The most important substance for photosynthesis is the chlorophyll contained in the chloroplasts. This green dye absorbs sunlight, which is then converted into chemical energy. On the underside of the leaf there are guard cells through which the CO2 enters the leaf. In the chloroplasts, CO2, H2O and the chemical energy generated from sunlight collide and the conversion process begins. In the end, the plant directs the end product O2 to the outside via the guard cells and stores the glucose.

Photosynthesis consists of two successive processes:

  • the light reaction
  • the dark reaction

The light reaction is also known as the primary reaction or photoreaction. It is the partial process of photosynthesis in which the chlorophyll absorbs sunlight and converts it into chemical energy that the plant needs for the subsequent dark reaction; this is also called a secondary or synthesis reaction. In this second process, the plant gradually converts the CO2 it has absorbed into glucose.

The counterpart of photosynthesis: cellular respiration

The cell respiration of plants, which takes place mainly at night, is the counterpart to photosynthesis. Cell respiration takes place in the mitochondria of the cells; During this process, O2 and glucose are converted into H2O and CO2. In contrast to photosynthesis, no sunlight is required for this. A product of this process is the extremely important adenosine triphosphate (ATP), because it serves as an energy store for the cell.

Photosynthesis and Photovoltaics

Photovoltaics and photosynthesis have a lot in common: Both convert sunlight into energy. The difference is that plants convert sunlight into chemical energy, while photovoltaics produce electrical energy. However, the principle of photovoltaic technology can be more easily understood when the basics of photosynthesis are known.

The solar cells can be compared with the chloroplasts; the energy conversion takes place in both. The silicon from which the solar cell is made takes on the function of chlorophyll. And just as a cell has many chloroplasts so that it can produce sufficient glucose, several cells are combined in a solar module. This ensures that the amount of electricity generated is economical. An essential difference is, of course, that the energy generated by photovoltaics is not needed for a conversion process, but can be used directly as electrical power.

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