Converting sunlight into energy: The role of mitochondria

Written By tony

Tony is a writer and sustainability expert who focuses on renewable energy and climate change. He has been involved in the environmental movement for over 20 years and believes that education is the key to creating a more sustainable future. Tony is the founder of, a website dedicated to providing information on renewables and sustainability. He lives in California with his wife and two children.





All living things need the energy to survive. One of the most important ways that cells get energy is from sunlight. But how does this happen? What converts sunlight into energy that can be used by cells?

The answer lies in an organelle called the mitochondrion. In this article, we’ll learn about the role of mitochondria in converting sunlight into energy, and we’ll also learn about some of the other ways that cells can get energy.


The chloroplast is an organelle found in plant cells that is responsible for converting sunlight energy into the chemical energy found in sugar molecules. This double-membrane organelle is able to harness sunlight energy due to its chlorophyll content.

Chloroplasts are found in the mesophyll tissue of leaves. This tissue is located between the upper and lower epidermis of a leaf. The chloroplast is able to absorb light from the sun due to its pigments, which are located in the thylakoid membrane. The thylakoid membrane is a stack of flattened sacs that are connected to one another.

The chloroplast contains grana. Grana are stacks of thylakoids. There are usually about 10-20 grana per chloroplast. Each thylakoid sac contains chlorophyll, which is necessary for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert sunlight into chemical energy.

The light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis take place on the thylakoid membrane. These reactions require light in order to produce ATP and NADPH, which are used in the light-independent reactions. The light-independent reactions take place in the stroma, which is the fluid-filled space inside the chloroplast.

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The light-independent reactions use ATP and NADPH to produce sugar molecules from carbon dioxide. This process is called carbon fixation. The sugar molecules are then used by the plant for energy.

Organelles that make energy from sunlight

Photosynthesis is the process that allows plants to convert sunlight into energy. This process occurs in a specialized organelle called a chloroplast.

Chloroplasts are unique in that they have the ability to change light into chemical energy that can be used by plants to create glucose from carbon dioxide and water. This process is called photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis occurs during daylight hours, when the chloroplasts are exposed to sunlight. The energy from the sun is used to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the atmosphere, while the hydrogen is used to combine with carbon dioxide to create glucose.

This glucose is then used by the plant as food. It is also converted into cellulose, which makes up the plant’s cell walls. The plant can also store glucose in the form of starch.

Photosynthesis is a vital process for all plants, as it allows them to create their own food and produce the oxygen we need to breathe.

Converting sunlight to energy in cells

The organelle found in plant cells that is responsible for converting sunlight energy into the chemical energy found in sugar molecules is called the chloroplast. This double-membrane organelle is able to harness sunlight energy due to its chlorophyll content.

The process of converting sunlight into chemical energy is called photosynthesis, and it is essential for the survival of plants. In order for photosynthesis to occur, the plant cell must have a sufficient amount of water and carbon dioxide.

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Once the necessary ingredients are present, the chloroplasts begin to absorb sunlight. The chlorophyll molecules in the chloroplasts absorb the energy from the sun’s rays and use it to split water molecules into Hydrogen and Oxygen.

The Hydrogen ions are used to convert Carbon Dioxide into Sugar molecules, which are then used by the plants for energy. The Oxygen molecules are released into the atmosphere as a by-product of photosynthesis.

Without photosynthesis, plants would not be able to produce the food that they need for survival. This process is essential for the continuation of life on Earth.

which organelle converts sunlight into energy

Which organelles can convert light energy to chemical energy?

Chloroplasts are small green, bean-shaped organelles. They are the sites of photosynthesis, allowing the plant to convert light (radiant) energy into chemical energy which is used to make food.

Photosynthesis occurs in chloroplasts. Chloroplasts contain a green pigment called chlorophyll. This pigment is important in capturing the energy from sunlight that is used in photosynthesis.

  • The light energy liberates electrons from water molecules. These electrons travel through an electron transport chain that generates a proton gradient across the chloroplast membrane

This proton gradient is used to generate ATP molecules, which are then used to drive the synthesis of carbohydrates from CO2 molecules

The process of photosynthesis can be summarized with the following equation:

light energy + water + CO2 -> carbohydrates + oxygen

The products of photosynthesis, carbohydrates, are essential for the plant to grow and develop.

Which organism can convert sunlight into energy?

Autotrophs are able to convert sunlight into energy, a process known as photosynthesis. This is an important process as it provides food for many different organisms. Plants, algae, and some bacteria are capable of photosynthesis.

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In order to convert sunlight into energy, autotrophs use chlorophyll. This pigment is what gives plants their green color. Chlorophyll absorbs light energy from the sun, which is then used to convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose.

The process of photosynthesis is important as it provides food for many different organisms. Not only does it provide food for plants and animals, but it also produces oxygen gas that we need to breathe.

How do the mitochondria convert light energy into chemical energy?

The answer is no. The mitochondria convert energy from chemical fuels, while chloroplasts convert energy from sunlight.

It is useful to compare the electron-transport processes in mitochondria, which convert energy from chemical fuels, with those in chloroplasts, which convert energy from sunlight.

While both processes are vital for the function of the cell, they are quite different.

Chloroplasts convert energy from sunlight into chemical energy that can be used by plants to grow. Mitochondria, on the other hand, use chemical energy to produce the ATP that cells need for energy.

While the two organelles have different functions, they are both essential for the cell to function properly.