Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Photosynthesis and Respiration (CO2 and O2)

Figure from experiment 12C from Agricultural Science with Vernier


Plants make sugar, storing the energy of the sun into chemical energy, by the process of photosynthesis. When they require energy, they can tap the stored energy in sugar by a process called cellular respiration.

The process of photosynthesis involves the use of light energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar, oxygen, and other organic compounds. This process is often summarized by the following reaction:

{\text{6 }}{{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{O }} + {\text{ 6 C}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}} + {\text{ light energy}} \to {{\text{C}}_{\text{6}}}{{\text{H}}_{{\text{12}}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{6}}} + {\text{ 6 }}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}}

Cellular respiration refers to the process of converting the chemical energy of organic molecules into a form immediately usable by organisms. Glucose may be oxidized completely if sufficient oxygen is available by the following equation:

{{\text{C}}_{\text{6}}}{{\text{H}}_{{\text{12}}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{6}}} + {\text{ 6 }}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}} \to {\text{6 }}{{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{O }} + {\text{ 6 C}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}} + {\text{ energy}}

All organisms, including plants and animals, oxidize glucose for energy. Often, this energy is used to convert ADP and phosphate into ATP.


In this experiment, you will

  • Use an O2 Gas Sensor to measure the amount of oxygen gas consumed or produced by a plant during respiration and photosynthesis.
  • Use a CO2 Gas Sensor to measure the amount of carbon dioxide consumed or produced by a plant during respiration and photosynthesis.
  • Determine the rate of respiration and photosynthesis of a plant.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Agricultural Science with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Introduction to Data Collection
2Acids and Bases
3Diffusion through Membranes
4Conducting Solutions
6Respiration of Sugars by Yeast
7Reflection and Absorption of Light
8Soil pH
9Soil Salinity
10Soil Temperature
11Soil Moisture
12APhotosynthesis and Respiration (CO2)
12BPhotosynthesis and Respiration (O2)
12CPhotosynthesis and Respiration (CO2 and O2)
14ACell Respiration (CO2)
14BCell Respiration (O2)
14CCell Respiration (CO2 and O2)
15The Greenhouse Effect
16Energy in Food
17AEnzyme Action: Testing Catalase Activity
17BEnzyme Action: Testing Catalase Activity
18ALactase Action
18BLactase Action
19Oxygen Gas and Human Respiration
20Biochemical Oxygen Demand
21Animal Temperature
22Lemon "Juice"
23Ohm's Law
24Energy Content of Fuels
25Photovoltaic Cells
26Wind Power
27Watershed Testing
28Interdependence of Plants and Animals
29Biodiversity and Ecosystems

Experiment 12C from Agricultural Science with Vernier Lab Book

<em>Agricultural Science with Vernier</em> book cover

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