A simple word equation that can be used to describe the process of photosynthesis is carbon dioxide + water —> glucose + oxygen + water. A balanced chemical equation for the process can be written as 6CO2 + 6H2O —> C6H12O6 + 6O2. Overall, photosynthesis uses light energy to convert carbon dioxide into a carbohydrate.
Most plants and algae, and some bacteria, rely upon photosynthesis and, by doing so, play a vital role in maintaining the atmospheric oxygen levels required by aerobic organisms. The degree of light energy captured globally through photosynthesis has been estimated to be six times greater than the power consumption currently used by human civilization.