Using intact cells of Chlorella pyrenoidosa it is possible to obtain oxygen by the reduction of certain reducible materials other than carbon dioxide. Of these, benzaldehyde was studied in some detail. This reduction does not involve the production of carbon dioxide from the benzaldehyde. Stoichiometrical relationships as expressed by the following equation:
2C6H5CHO + 2H2O → 2C6H5CH2OH + O2 are somewhat difficult to obtain because the benzaldehyde can disappear from the reaction mixtures by dark reactions. The technique is now available which permits detailed studies of the oxygen-liberating mechanisms in photosynthesis.