If I may, a brief joke :
How much Oxygen would 3 full grown Sasquatches use up in a 20 cubic yard
box, if, they were also enclosed in the same box with 3 Philodendron selloum
plants, each 8 feet tall with 40 leaves each, 14 inches in diameter
and 7 inflorescence each, (which as many of us know,
are thermogenic, and can maintain a temperature near 80º F, when they are ripening).
With lights on for 6 hours, off for 3, over a 24 hour period ?
What we have here, yet again is another Internet myth, that has gotten legs and run round'
As we have seen from Walter's
post, it would not be possible to use up of all the oxygen in the room.
Some non calculation factors should also be looked at here. Is the room / house air tight?
More than likely not. Oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other elements in the air are moving in
and through, and out of structures, nearly constantly. Doors and windows are opened and closed.
which while not as effective as fans or air conditioners, will exchange air in a house.
In general, plants are carrying on photosynthesis, the light and dark reactions daily. Therefore we
can assume, that oxygen will be in greater quantity than carbon dioxide, in any given period of time.
As for the process itself, The light reactions are light dependent, when there is not source of light, that part of photosynthesis
is halted. The dark reactions are light independent, do occur during the day, and
can continue without light ( in darkness),
if the required components for this phase are present.
A simple example of photosynthesis is this: the light reactions synthesize 2 components, ATP and NADP, which is reduced.
Further, water is used as a basic material, with oxygen as a by product. The dark reactions,
take these high energy ingredients from the light reaction to synthesize carbohydrates, amino acids, lipids,
and other molecules from carbon dioxide. Here ATP is broken down into ADP, with hydrogen and some electrons
being removed from NADP. The circle then repeats, with these depleted ingredients being cycled back to the light
reaction, to be recharged by the chemical pathway of solar energy.
Plant life has been on this planet for nearly immeasurable time. It is almost impossible to fathom the length of time
has transpired since the atmosphere was first charged with deadly gases, lighting, and perpetual storms. Then,when bacteria and algae formed
in primordial seas, transforming the atmosphere, began to colonize the land forms, and finally made the earth habitable for the rest
of life that came after.
To propose that a few house plants would suck the air out a room, or your lungs is of course stupid.
As many, if not all of us here have seen, it doesn't take much bad information, or ill informed Internet inhabitants to make for
a mountain of erroneous news to make the rounds, and give people misinformation that becomes 'gospel' as they say.
I hope this post will be of use to you.