Science, Tech, Math › Science The Balanced Chemical Equation for Photosynthesis Photosynthesis Overall Chemical Reaction Share Flipboard Email Print Frank Krahmer / Getty Images Science Chemistry Biochemistry Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated May 08, 2019 Photosynthesis is the process in plants and certain other organisms that uses the energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose (a sugar) and oxygen. Equation 6 CO2 + 6 H2O → C6H12O6 + 6 O2 Where:CO2 = carbon dioxide H2O = waterlight is requiredC6H12O6 = glucoseO2 = oxygen Explanation In words, the equation may be stated as: Six carbon dioxide molecules and six water molecules react to produce one glucose molecule and six oxygen molecules. The reaction requires energy in the form of light to overcome the activation energy needed for the reaction to proceed. Carbon dioxide and water don't spontaneously convert into glucose and oxygen.