Chemosynthesis

Chemosynthesis is a process, like photosynthesis, which some organisms that are not accessible to sunlight use to produce food.

In the darkest, deepest parts of the ocean where it is impossible for sunlight to reach, many organisms have created a way of life, which flourishes without the need of a factor that we would consider vital to survive. They live in harsh conditions with temperatures close to boiling point, and the weight of the ocean on their shoulders. These organism, who have formed a way of surviving are called chemoautotrophic bacteria, and use a process called chemosynthesis to create energy and food for themselves, without the use of sunlight.

Chemosynthesis is the process of converting chemicals into the carbohydrates and energy all organisms need to function. Deep in the ocean, where there are hydrothermal vents, bacteria use water, dissolved carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide to create sugar and sulfur compounds. This is represented in the equation . The carbon dioxide comes from carbon dioxide dissolved in the ocean water, along with the water. The hydrogen sulfides shoot out from hydrothermal vents and are absorbed by the bacteria. The chemoautotrophic bacteria oxide or heat up the chemicals, to create sugar and sulfur compounds. They use the sugar for energy, and release the sulfur compounds into the ocean water.

By now, chemosynthesis is probably reminding you of another process which is used by other organisms to create energy called photosynthesis. Yes, they are similar in the way that they both convert things into energy for themselves, but the big difference between them, is that photosynthesis cannot take place without sunlight, while chemosynthesis does not rely on sunlight. It only needs heat and suitable chemicals. Because of this, chemosynthesis can potentially take place anywhere in the world, although it currently takes place only deep in the ocean.

Lately, many scientists have started to ask whether chemosynthesis could be used as an alternative source for food energy. The answer to this is yes, but it is not a good idea. If organisms can use chemicals to create food for them, the organisms could be used as food themselves. As you can probably see, the major setback to using chemosynthesis as an alternative food source is that humans would have to set up an environment or a factory in which it could take place. We would have to provide hydrogen sulfide, water, and carbon dioxide to chemoautotrophic bacteria and have them convert it into sugar for us. This would not be economical, or feasible and on a large scale it would release too many sulfur compounds into the Earth’s atmosphere. On another topic, scientists are trying to see whether chemosynthesis can be used as an alternative fuel source. I think that it could be possible, the same way that it could be an alternative food source, but it would again not be feasible or economical.

In conclusion, we have learned that while the food chain on land is based on photosynthesis, deep in the ocean, where sunlight cannot reach, there is a whole community of organisms. These organism, which range from microscopic bacteria, to huge tubeworms, thrive under extreme conditions by using a process called chemosynthesis. We have learned how chemosynthesis works, and how it is similar but very different from photosynthesis. Lastly, we now know that chemosynthesis is great for the chemoautotrophic bacteria that live in the ocean, but that it would not be very economical if humans tried to convert it into an alternative fuel source or energy source.

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17 Responses to “Chemosynthesis”
  1. Kid who is awful @ science (KWIAAS) Says...

    On June 24, 2008 at 9:47 am

    BRILLIANT WRITEUP


  2. Akhil Tandon Says...

    On June 24, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Good description and nice title appeal. I really liked how you explained the process of chemosynthesis and how it is the process of converting chemicals into the carbohydrates and energy all organisms need to function. You had a nice, interesting approach to the study of chemosynthesis. Great job!!

    PS: I don’t know who John t Hennigan is, but I did click the I like it button


  3. Nikhil Manocha Says...

    On June 24, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Good description and nice title appeal. I really liked how you explained the process of chemosynthesis and how it is the process of converting chemicals into the carbohydrates and energy all organisms need to function. You had a nice, interesting approach to the study of chemosynthesis. Great job!!
    (THAT WAS AKHIL’S)
    But in addition to that. you did an awesome job. i never knew this and it was fascinating.


  4. Martin Ma Says...

    On June 24, 2008 at 11:30 am

    good job


  5. CJ Burroughs Says...

    On June 24, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Brilliant! It was also very clear.


  6. Anonymous Says...

    On June 24, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Nice work!


  7. Olga Pyatnychko Says...

    On June 24, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Wow..this is wicked good..


  8. kim Says...

    On December 29, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Thank you very much for thoroughly explaining what chemosynthesis is and its process.
    Great Job !! :]


  9. Mr. Cow Says...

    On September 26, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    can you give the balanced equation for chemosynthesis? Thx.


  10. Guest Says...

    On November 27, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Tnx man this essay helped alot I am writing about the same topic


  11. sue Says...

    On December 15, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Thanx. Pls culd u add the balanced equation.


  12. Trevon Says...

    On December 31, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful excerpt, I have been very interested in Chemosynthesis for some time now, and I beileve this has anwsers all my questions.


  13. Kaitlynn Says...

    On March 12, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    i just love this process!!!! you go chemosynthesis!!!!!


  14. ceelee Says...

    On March 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    WOW!!!!! THIS WAS EXELENT I NEED TOKNOW THIS AND IT HELP ALOT!!!


  15. nonononononononononononononononononononoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnononononononnnoonnoonnoonnoonnoonnonnknknknnoo Says...

    On November 5, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Awesomez


  16. halsjdhlfkawheriusakjdhfaw ieuhfksdhflkajhleurhaoidjfhlakwjehfaosdifuhpqweryuiqypweiuroiudshflasjkdfjsbcvnxm,nzcbvlkajdhfiperuqowieurpqoweiurasdkfjaklsjdhfkjlzxhcvm,bnxcm,nvbm,adjsfhasldkfjhliqwuyerupoqewuroipqwejhfjkhasdnjfnxzcm,vnm,asndfk;akwjrhiwerpuqw Says...

    On November 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    hioh


  17. halsjdhlfkawheriusakjdhfaw ieuhfksdhflkajhleurhaoidjfhlakwjehfaosdifuhpqweryuiqypweiuroiudshflasjkdfjsbcvnxm,nzcbvlkajdhfiperuqowieurpqoweiurasdkfjaklsjdhfkjlzxhcvm,bnxcm,nvbm,adjsfhasldkfjhliqwuyerupoqewuroipqwejhfjkhasdnjfnxzcm,vnm,asndfk;akwjrhiwerpuqw Says...

    On November 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    hioh


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