Photosynthesis and Respiration

by Bekka Bobek

The chemical equation for photosynthesis:

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The purpose of photosynthesis is to create energy for living things to consume and use in light and light dependent reactions. The process of photosynthesis starts with the sun, when it shines light energy onto plants, as well as CO2 and H2O. The chlorophyll traps the molecules inside of it, creating glucose and releasing oxygen. This process repeats itself to store and use energy to grow.
Water and Carbon Dioxide are products in photosynthesis, while Glucose and Oxygen are the reactants. Water is the first stage of photosynthesis, which happens in the chloroplast. It gets split in half to hydrogen and oxygen, which then creates a light dependent reaction in the thylakoid membrane. O2 is created from this process, as well as ATP and NAPDH that goes to the Calvin Cycle. Carbon Dioxide is a major part of the Calvin cycle, which uses the energy given from the first stage of photosynthesis to create glucose, which is used for energy.

The chemical equation for cellular respiration:

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The purpose of cellular respiration in living organisms is to provide energy by converting oxygen and glycogen into pyruvic acid and ATP. The process of cellular respiration has three cycles that starts with Glycolysis. Glycolysis involves breaking down glucose molecules, which move into the Krebs Cycle and if oxygen is still present after glycolysis, the pyruvic acid is broken down. The electrons produced from the reaction move into the electron transport chain, which in turn produces water and ATP.
Glucose and Oxygen are products in cellular respiration, which happens in the mitochondria. Carbon Dioxide, Water, and ATP are reactants. Glucose starts the process by breaking down into two pyruvate molecules, which are used to make carbon dioxide and energy. From there, it produces NADH which goes to the Electron Transport Chain. The NADH combines with hydrogen and oxygen, making water, while some of it moves to the electron transport chain and generates to ATP.


Without photosynthesis cellular respiration cannot happen, or vice versa. Without either, there would be no life on earth (we wouldn't have even been born). Photosynthesis starts with the sun, and ends by giving glucose to the mitochondria to start cellular respiration. All life forms on Earth need energy to survive, and the only way we can get it is to consume or produce it ourselves. People cannot make their own ATP, so we have to consume it either directly or indirectly from producers like plants. Plants can make their own energy through photosynthesis because they have chloroplasts, and then from there go through with cellular respiration in the mitochondria. It takes energy to do anything-even just breathe- and if there was no photosynthesis + cellular respiration to provide us with the energy to do so we would die, or never exist in the first place.