What is the chemical equation for photosynthesis?

The most simplified chemical equation for photosynthesis is:

6CO2 + 6H2O + light energy → C6H12O6 + 6O2

This equation represents the following:


  • 6 molecules of carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • 6 molecules of water (H2O)
  • Energy in the form of light (implied by the arrow)


  • 1 molecule of glucose (C6H12O6), a type of sugar
  • 6 molecules of oxygen (O2)

It's important to note that this is a simplified equation and doesn't capture all the complexities of photosynthesis. 

For example:

  • The actual type of sugar produced can vary depending on the organism.
  • Other molecules, such as minerals, are also required for photosynthesis.
  • The energy from light is used to drive a series of complex biochemical reactions.

However, this simplified equation is a good starting point for understanding the basic chemistry of photosynthesis. It shows how plants and other organisms use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into energy-rich organic molecules that they can use for growth and survival.

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