Tech UPTechnologyClowntifics: what is photosynthesis?

Clowntifics: what is photosynthesis?

‘We are Clowns!’ is a fun science series for girls and boys made by Big Van Ciencia, a team that carries out scientific dissemination activities for all types of audiences. Here Orilo and Arlequino will explain hilarious scientific stories and very scientific home experiments, always with a lot of humor and fun.

In this new episode, Arlequino has bought a plant and intends to feed it as if it were a person: tomato, pasta, hazelnuts … Orilo tells him that plants do not eat in this way.

Like us, plants need nutrients to live, but they do not get them in the same way, but from carbon dioxide. The leaves of the plants can capture it and, together with the water that they absorb through the roots, they are able to convert that atmospheric gas into sugar to feed themselves. This process is called photosynthesis, and to carry it out you also need another ingredient: sunlight. During the process of oxygenic photosynthesis, in addition, oxygen and water are released. There is another type of photosynthesis, called anoxygenic, carried out by some types of bacteria that use sunlight but do not produce oxygen as a result, but other compounds such as sulfur.

Photosynthesis is a fundamental process for life. Etymologically, it means “synthesis with the help of light”, actually, it consists of a set of reactions that lead the plants that receive that light to synthesize their own organic matter. From an evolutionary point of view, the appearance of oxygenic photosynthesis was a true revolution for life on earth: it changed the earth’s atmosphere, enriching it, and this fact made possible the appearance of organisms, such as humans, that use oxygen to live. .

The machinery of photosynthesis

Chlorophyll is the machinery of the leaves that absorbs sunlight and that, in addition, is green, that is why the leaves are green. To demonstrate the operation of photosynthesis, Orilo tells Harlequin that he must cut a leaf and crush it well. Then it is dissolved with ethanol. To extract the chlorophyll, they filter the mixture and obtain a green colored liquid that contains chlorophyll.

Harlequin then realizes that, for his new plant to be well fed, he does not need to give it the same food that we eat, but rather place it in a suitable place where it receives enough sunlight.

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