The metabolism of photosynthesizing organisms manufactures organic compounds via carbon dioxide breakdown.
"The chemical activation of CO2, that is, the splitting of its structure in a chemical reaction, is a major challenge in synthetic chemistry because of the very high thermodynamic stability of CO2, which requires an efficient energy source for its activation. However, the fact that biogenic carbon (i.e., biomass) originates from the fixation of CO2 implies that CO2 activation must be one of the oldest reactions in biological systems and have already occurred in prebiotic times.,  Interestingly, in current photosynthetic systems, this process relies on the formation of a carbamate as the first step of the cycle, which may also have been the case in prebiotic systems, as a number of cyanide-based, nitrogen-rich, conjugated organic molecules, such as nucleic acids, porphyrins, and phthalocyanines, existed before life began." (Goettmann et al. 2007:2717)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Goettmann, Frédéric; Thomas, Arne; Antonietti, Markus. 2007. Metal-Free Activation of CO2 by Mesoporous Graphitic Carbon Nitride. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 46(15): 2717-2720.
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