What is the equation for photosynthesis?

Expert Answers
lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The ability of plants to photosynthesize lets all life on earth exist. Plants capture and store the energy of the sun in the form of highly structured carbohydrates, and also provides oxygen that animals breathe in:

6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy from the sun ® C6H12O6 + 6O2

C stands for carbon, O for oxygen, and H for hydrogen;               carbon dioxide + water in the presence of energy from the sun yields carbohydrates and oxygen.

Respiration, or the release of energy when carbohydrates are broken down, is the opposite equation:

C6H12O6 + 6O2 --> 6CO2 + 6H2O + energy

I couldn't get the subscripts to work properly, but the numbers after the elements are supposed to be lower, and indicate the number of atoms of each; see the link if that is not clear.

studyfaq1 | Student

The name photosynthesis is derived from Greek word which means:

Photo = light and Synthesis = putting together.

Photosynthesis Equation represents a scientific process in which light energy emitted by the sun is utilized by the plants and animals to convert light energy into chemical energy.

This energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules, like sugars which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis maintains atmospheric oxygen levels and supplies all of the organic compounds and most of the energy necessary for life on Earth. 

Photosynthesis Equation can be represented using a chemical equation:

6CO2 + 6H2O ------> C6H12O6 + 6O2
Sunlight energy


CO2 = carbon dioxide 
H2O = water
Light energy is required
C6H12O6 = glucose
O2 = oxygen

jess1999 | Student

The equation for photosynthesis is:

6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy - - > C6H12O6 + 6O2

basically the equation for photosynthesis is :

carbon + water + energy ( sunlight ) - - > Sugar + oxygen

* The equation for photosynthesis is also the reverse equation for cellular respiration 

gelsaied | Student

Photosynthesis is a redox process. Here is the equation:

Energy + 6CO2+ 6H20=>C6H12O6 + 6CO2

In this equation, 6CO2 becomes reduced to C6H12O6, and 6H20 becomes oxidized to 6C02.

tal123 | Student


This is a redox reaction. In this reaction the oxidation of H2O occurs and reductioN OF CO2 takes place.Basically its a reverse of respiration.


micahizon | Student

6 CO2 + 12 H2O C6H12O6 + 6 O2 + 6 H2O

But because water is both a reactant and a product, the equation can be simplified accounting for net water consumption, which is

6 CO2+ 6 H2O C6H12O6+ 6 O2

Carbon dioxide + Water + Light energy → Glucose + Oxygen