The Carbon Cycle
The Carbon Cycle
Original Research by Terry Stainton
The Big Picture
There is a large Maple tree in my back yard that must weigh 5 Tons and is about 30 to 40 feet tall.
Yet, my back yard has not been ravaged and depleted of building material.
The roots draw various nutrients and water of course, but not material to build the actual plant.
I began to wonder where it got 5 Tons of material.
Air is 78% Nitrogen, 20% Oxygen and traces of Carbon Dioxide.
We know that animals inhale air to get Oxygen and exhale Carbon Dioxide back.
Plants on the other hand consume Carbon Dioxide and return Oxygen.
very convenient, for both plants and animals and is an example of symbiosis.
For animals to move, their muscles must contract to produce physical force.
The energy to achieve this force is produced by Oxidization.
Oxidization is the combining of an Organic Compound with Oxygen.
A conventional flame or fire is an example of Oxidization.
Rust, fire and explosives are all examples of Oxidization at different rates.
To produce the energy for a muscle contraction, the arteries need to transport Oxygen from the lungs and blood sugars from the digestive system to the muscles.
These sugars are combined with the Oxygen through the process of Oxidization to produce physical force.
Carbon Dioxide and water are produced as a by-products.
The Carbon Dioxide is borne as a blood gas to the lungs to be expelled into the atmosphere.
What is a tree largely composed of?
Cellulose, which is an organic compound formed of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen.
Where did it get all that Carbon, to form the wood of the tree?
From thin air.
The muscles produce Carbon Dioxide but where does the body get all that Carbon?
Carbohydrates are molecules made of Carbon and Water (H2O).
For example Glucose is a sugar with the molecular formula C6H12O6
Glucose is made in plants during photosynthesis combining water from the roots of the plant with Carbon Dioxide from the air, using energy from sunlight.
This solar energy is stored as Glucose in plants, as starch or lipids. (Tree sap is a Carbohydrate.)
To produce energy for muscular movement we need to eat plants to gain Carbohydrates to be Oxidized.
When our muscles move, the resulting Carbon Dioxide and water is the very thing that plants need to survive.
They grow, scrub the air of CO2 and are eaten (again and again) by animals.
The components of this cycle (Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen) are broken up and reformed over and over:
So. . .
Sugars are formed by plants using water, Carbon Dioxide and sunlight.
Once the C has been removed from the CO2, the O2 is released into the air.
This Oxygen is used to Oxidize plant sugars to power the muscles of animals, that then produce CO2 and water.
Around and around.
The external energy source is the sun, so the whole thing is
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Actual Sucrose Molecule. A Carbohydrate.
Stick Family on their minivan.