|I was just wondering if certain plants give off
more oxygen than others or have different
byproducts including oxygen. Like daytime plants
that produce significantly more oxygen then others
ratio wise to size & whatnot?|
|Question Date: 2019-03-02|
Hi Mickey! Yes, some plants give off more
oxygen than others, but it’s mostly
proportional to size. Larger plants give
off more oxygen than smaller plants, so the
biggest oxygen producers are trees. Also,
faster-growing plants give off more oxygen than
their slower-growing counterparts. Light plays an
additional factor. If there are two identical
plants, but one is receiving more light, the
one receiving more light will give off more
oxygen. Think of the plant as a machine. The
more materials put into the plant (water,
nutrients, light), the more product it will create
To answer your second question, oxygen,
glucose, and water are the only byproducts of
photosynthesis. The oxygen is released into
the air, the water is reused by the plant or
released as water vapor, and glucose is used or
stored for energy by the plant.
A common misconception is that plants stop
photosynthesizing at night. This is untrue.
The plants take the oxygen and glucose produced
during the day and undergo cellular
respiration, turning them into carbohydrates
that are essential for the plant’s growth. This
happens at an equal or even faster rate at night
than during the day.
In order to get carbon, plants need to produce
oxygen as a byproduct. This is a simple matter of
chemistry: carbon dioxide and water make oxygen
and sugar, and the oxygen has to go somewhere, so
the plant outgasses it.
Some plants can do photosynthesis more rapidly
than others, and some plants can do photosynthesis
with less water or light than others, but all
plants use the same chemical reaction that
produces sugar and oxygen. Thus, the ratio is
always the same.
All of this said, while there are no plants
that produce something other than oxygen by
photosynthesis, there are some bacteria that
produce sulfur in place of oxygen, since they
use hydrogen sulfide in the reaction in place of
The following link contains valuable information
Microscopic plants [phytoplankton] in the ocean
produce half the oxygen on earth!
The oxygen is produced by photosynthesis.
You may be wanting to know about improving the
quality of indoor air. Snake Plant [Sansevieria
trifasciata or 'Mother-in-Law's Tongue'] is
supposed to produce lots of oxygen, but plants
supposedly don't give off enough oxygen to change
the air in your home.
Here's one of the 37 review articles about
plants and air quality in 2018-2019. I
chose it, because I think the 'Trends in...'
journals have a good scientific reputation.
Plants for Sustainable Improvement of Indoor
Trends in Plant Science,
Volume 23, Issue 6,
It says we need smart sensors in buildings and
more research on what plants are good for the air,
not just what plants are nice to look at.
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