Energy and Its Uses by Plant, Biology tutorial


Energy the capability to perform work is the important concept of study. Energy and control of it has been source of main conflicts between nations. Energy is also the necessary part of living organisms started study of bioenergetics that is fascinating discipline which assists us understands life

Energy and how to compute it:

What is Energy?

Energy is capability to perform work, i.e., to lead to alter or move matter against the contrasting force such gravity or friction. As energy is the ability to perform work, it is not always as obvious to us as matter that contains mass and occupies space. Humans utilize energy for noticeable tasks like cultivating farmlands, dancing, playing football and studying; plants on other hand expend the energy in subtle, almost unidentifiable ways. For instance philodendron plant utilizes its leaves to collect energy available in sunlight and utilize it to fuel metabolism and development. This plant contains large flowers which open for only couple of days. At night when air temperatures are close to freezing, flowers reach temperatures exceeding 46o/115o. These furnaces like flowers keep their high temperature for several hours in cold night air. Understanding bioenergetics of plant assits us to understand how they live. Bioenergetics is energy relationships of living organisms.

Estimating Energy:

Energy exists in several forms. It is thus estimated with several units. Many scientists estimate energy in calories (cal) or joules (j) Calorie (note the small c) is amount of energy needed to raise temperature of 1 gram of water by 0C. Most common unit for estimating energy content of food and hear output of organisms is Calorie (note large C) that is energy needed to raised temperature of liter of water by 10C. Calorie (written with a capital C) utilized to estimate energy content of food is equal to 1,0000 calories (written with c) or 1 Kcal.

The joule (j) is amount of energy required to move 1 kilogram through 1 meter with acceleration of 1 meter per second (1m) sec2, for comparison purposes 1 cal = 4.l2J.

Energy Interconversions:

1 Btu = .1055J

1 cal = 4.1J = 0.001 Kcal = 0.001C

1 hp = 746W

1 W = 0.00134hp.

Energy Conversions and Laws of Thermodynamics:

Energy Conversions:

Every activity of living organisms like cellular division, heat production by flowers, moving from pace to place etc. engage inter converting of energy from one form to another. For instance, we convert energy enclosed in oil electricity, and then convert electricity to light energy to illuminate homes and streets. Likewise, plants convert sunlight in chemical energy which they utilize to reproduce, repair DNA, and now parts. Such conversion of light energy to chemical energy photosynthesis sustains approximately all life on earth.

Animals live by eating animals and/or plants and stored energy. Every aspects of the lives of organism center on energy and energy conversions. There are 2 kinds of energy, Kinetic energy and Potential energy. Potential energy is stored energy, i.e., energy available to perform work, examples of potential energy comprise teaspoon of sugar, unexploded/unlit knockout, and rock on top of hill. Potential energy is estimated by position (e.g. water held at attitude behind dam) or arrangement (example kind of chemical bonds) of matter. In organisms, potential (i.e. latent) energy is stored in chemical bonds like those in fats, sugar and starch. Kinetic energy is energy used to perform work. Examples of kinetic energy comprise burning sugar, exploding knockout, or rock rolling down hill or nut forcing its way through soil. Kinetic energy effects matter by moving motion to other matter, just moving ball transfers kinetic energy to further place, if another man who is running bumps in man standing at place, stationary man obtains some kinetic energy from running man and then also some distance, until obtained energy is ended before he stops.

Laws of Thermodynamics:

Life relies on energy transformations. For instances, the bodies transform chemical energy in food to mechanical energy which allow us to study, play and dance and appliances convert electrical energy to light for reading and to ban for cooking food. Combustion engines convert chemical energy in petrol to mechanical energy which maintains life on earth.

Energy conversions are regulated by laws of thermodynamics. Such laws engage system and its surroundings. Collection of matter being studied is known as system, and rest of the universe is referred to as surroundings. The closed system, like that estimated by thermos bottle, is isolated from, i.e. doesn't exchange energy with its surroundings, on the other hand, open system exchanges energy with surroundings.

The laws of thermodynamics are easy and based on common sense. They are unbreakable laws which apply to all energy transformations, whether they are combustion of petrol in car, breakdown of glucose in cell or generation of heat by philodendron flowers. These laws rule existence of all organisms.

The First Law of Thermodynamics:

First law of thermodynamics is law of conservation of energy. Law states that energy can't be created or destroyed, but only converted to another forms. This law can be expressed in other ways.

In any procedure, total amount of energy in system and its surroundings stays constant.

  • Total amount of energy in any isolated (that is closed) system is constant.
  • Amount of energy in universe is constant.
  • You cannot get something for nothing.

For example energy utilized to wind watch comes from person winding watch. Likewise, power plant (generator) doesn't create energy. It just transforms energy from one form (e.g. petrol) to another (like Electricity). In similar way, green plants aren't energy producers; they just trap and convert energy in sunlight in chemical bonds. First law asserts that energy in sunlight which warms out plants and drives photosynthesis must come from somewhere else in system. In this case, it comes from sun. Energy conversions frequently make heat. The temperature is neither decreasing nor increasing as heat generated by the body is radiated into the surroundings. There is no change in total amount of energy in system. Energy radiated from body which heats room you are in can be traced to energy contained in food you ate. According to first law of thermodynamics, amount of energy released by body can't exceed amount of energy contained in food you eat. If you stop eating you will ultimately finish energy, die and stop releasing heat.

First law of thermodynamics has wonderful implications for everyday life. For instance, it describes why car can only perform limited distance in spite of the fuel efficiency or mileage rating, energy utilized to move car can't exceed which contained in chemical bonds of fuel. When petrol finishes in car, it cannot go further until more petrol is added. Addition of more petrol to car (energy) corresponds to loss of energy from somewhere else - storage tank at petrol station. First law of thermodynamics also states that energy trapped by leaves in photosynthesis can't exceed energy of absorbed light. For instance, if 100 units of light energy strike leaf is not more than 100 units of energy can be trapped in carbohydrates made by photosynthesis. Regardless of how hard you tried, you cannot get more energy out of system than you put in.

Second Law of Thermodynamics:

Second law of thermodynamics is law of entropy, or disorder. This law expresses that all energy transformations are ineffective, i.e., amount of concentrated valuable energy decreases in all energy transformed. This law can be stated in other energy like:

  • System tends toward increasing entropy (disorder).
  • Any system tends impulsively to become incompetent.
  • In all energy transformations, little utilizable energy is lost as heat.
  • Any impulsive change decreases amount of utilizable energy.

Restatements of second law are based on the world that is inappropriate. For example once aging process begins, you can't reverse it, and neither can you unscramble the egg. You can't convert contents of egusi soup to the complete parts. Irreversibility results from message of second law of thermodynamics, that is, loss of usable energy as heat during the energy transformation.

To better understand this, let person throwing ball or heating cup of tea. Both of the processes need energy. According to first law, no energy created or destroyed in throwing ball or heating tea, energy utilized to heat tea possibly came from breaking bonds of natural gas, while that used in throwing ball came from energy in food utilized to contract muscles. Though energies of moving ball mid the heating the tea are severely different. Moving ballssss heats air and any object that it strikes, and is in coherent motion all of its parts move together in orderly way. On the contrary, energy in heated ten is contained in random, incoherent motion of molecules. There is no order to it, heat results only forms of energy; any other form of energy can be converted entirely to heat, but heat can't be entirely converted to another forms of energy. The thrown ball heats air and glove that hit is, but applying same amount of heat, but heat can't be entirely to heat, but heat can't be entirely converted to another form of energy. Thrown ball heats air and glove that hit it, but applying same amount of heat of air does not move ball.

All energy is ultimately converted to heat and heat is not utilizable energy. Let the example of combustion engine in car. Petrol (Gasoline) is concentrated, arranged sources of energy; its energy exists in covalent bonds of octane. Though, when the bonds break and release energy in car's engine. Less than one-fourth of energy used to move car (that is combustion engines are less than 25% efficient). According to first law of thermodynamics, no energy was lost when car moved, amount of energy utilized to move car, heat engine block, (and air around it), power radio, ad heat tyres equals that initially contained in petrol. Though, applying hear to car doesn't move car. That is, energy contained in heated tyres, pavement, air and engine-block can't be recycled to run car, as heat energy exists in randomly moving molecules and it thus not concentrated, useful form. This heat represents incompetence inherent in any energy transformation and is basis for second law of thermodynamics. As all energy transformations produce heat (that is the unusable form of energy), all things naturally turn out to be more disorganized. Consequences of second law of thermodynamics are significant and familiar to everyone. For instance, rocks tumble downhill rather than uphill and piece of jigsaw puzzle never suddenly fall in place when poured from box. This second law describes why disorder in massive is increased constantly. Cells derive energy from sugar and fats for growth, reproduction and repair. Chemicals reactions that free this energy are incompetent and release much heat. Cells of most organisms extract only about half of the fuel's energy for helpful work (like energy used to power your brain while you sleep is equal to that of 60W bulb). Therefore, though organisms can channel transformation of energy from one form to another, they can inboard energy in reserves or use if for repair, movement, or reproduction-these diversions are only temporarily. Ultimately, all energy is transformed to heat. To loss off useful energy as heat energy transformations increases entropy in system and only process which decrease amount of helpful energy happen impulsively. Thus, there is natural tendency for things to turn out to be disorganized. Though entropy of one system, like the organisms or cell, may decrease entropy of universe is always increasing. Once more local level, or rooms and tables rapidly turn out to be messy unless we periodically straighten then.

Energy which keeps organisms alive comes ultimately from sun i.e. plants transform sunlight in chemical bond of carbohydrates that humans and other organisms use as energy source. Life is only possible as organisms temporarily store and later use some of energy flowing through system. Plants and plant like organisms like algae are first and most significant part of scheme. Energy transformations in cells engage small amounts of energy. Two primary energy transformations in plant are cellular transportation and photosynthesis. Photosynthesis utilizes light energy to convert CO2 and H2O into sugars. In process, oxygen gas, (O2) is released. Cells extract energy from sugar by cellular respirations. Some of this energy is stored in molecules like ATP. If all energy in chemical bonds of sugars were released at once, energy would be converted generally to heat and make literally high temperatures. To avoid the problems, cell extracts energy from glucose and other molecules by slowly oxidizing molecules in series of chemical reactions. In every reaction, there is drop in potential energy of molecules. Some of the energy is lost as heat though much of it is trapped in chemical bonds of other molecules in cell. Chemical reactions which transform energy in cells are collectively known as metabolism.

Tutorsglobe: A way to secure high grade in your curriculum (Online Tutoring)

Expand your confidence, grow study skills and improve your grades.

Since 2009, Tutorsglobe has proactively helped millions of students to get better grades in school, college or university and score well in competitive tests with live, one-on-one online tutoring.

Using an advanced developed tutoring system providing little or no wait time, the students are connected on-demand with a tutor at Students work one-on-one, in real-time with a tutor, communicating and studying using a virtual whiteboard technology.  Scientific and mathematical notation, symbols, geometric figures, graphing and freehand drawing can be rendered quickly and easily in the advanced whiteboard.

Free to know our price and packages for online biology tutoring. Chat with us or submit request at

©TutorsGlobe All rights reserved 2022-2023.