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Photosynthesis

It is important to realize that we are everywhere surrounded by solar collectors - plants! Plants convert solar energy into chemical energy by photosynthesis, that is, by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) which they combine with water (H2O) and energy from sunlight to produce oxygen (O2) (thereby supplying us with oxygen), and combustible sugars, which are made of carbon and hydrogen.

The efficiency of photosynthesis is not so great - roughly about .3 %, or about 3 watts per square meter. However, over half a billion years, this has resulted in the huge deposits of fossil fuels we are presently dependent on.

To learn more about photosynthesis, a good place to start is the Arizona State University Photosynthesis program website: http://photoscience.la.asu.edu/photosyn/default.html

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