Why Do Leaves Contain Chlorophyll?

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Leaves contain chlorophyll because chlorophyll is the chemical catalyst that helps plants turn the energy from the sun into carbon dioxide and water into sugar. Find out more about how chlorophyll helps plants gain energy with information from a math and science teacher in this free video science lesson.

Part of the Video Series: Science & Environmental Facts
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Steve Jones and I'm going to tell you why leaves contain chlorophyll. Now we all need energy to live. Human beings, animals get their energy not from the sun directly but get their energy from a source such as plants or from other animals so they are in a food chain. But the top of the food chain is man and other animals of that kind mammals but if you go low down the food chain at the bottom, you end up with plants. Plants are capable of making energy by using the sun. They use the energy from the sun that is radiation from the sun to turn carbon dioxide and water into sugar. This process looks fairly simple. It is a simple equation but the one thing that doesn't happen is it doesn't work unless you have a catalyst that is a chemical which helps the process to go ahead. That chemical process is helped by chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the catalyst for this reaction. It makes the reaction go. Without it the reaction doesn't go. If you look at the root of a plant it is white. It doesn't contain chlorophyll. There is no light down under the ground so what is the point of having chlorophyll to help this reaction to go. There is no light to help it. So what you need is you need carbon dioxide which comes from the air. You need water which comes from the ground and comes up through the roots and with the chlorophyll the green substance in the leaves and acting as a catalyst the radiation from the sun, we create sugars, these sugars are the stuff through which the plant grows. You can get these sugars and other chemicals that the plants form by eating them so the plants harness the energy from the sun and you get your energy second hand from the sun through plants and that's why leaves contain chlorophyll.


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