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Wikipedia says that the human body is about 18% carbon, but I can't find any percentage on how much of green plants / leaves or algae is carbon? I assume it varies, so if an example is needed, what percent (by mass) of duckweed or grass is carbon?

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    $\begingroup$ Why do you care? Context helps us to determine whether questions are worth answering. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 19:17
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    $\begingroup$ I was just interested, some questions get stuck in my head when watching documentaries or reading things. If people do not find the question worth answering, I am afraid my reasons will not make it more worthwhile. Sorry. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 20:29

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See table 1 here.

Life form reprod organ
n
reprod organ
mean/sd
root
n
root
mean/sd
leaf
n
leaf
mean/sd
stem
n
stem
mean/sd
Herbaceous plants 83 42.56± 4.57 749 42.45± 5.12 5181 44.73± 3.45 162 42.41± 3.54
Crop 42 42.40± 5.11 56 38.20± 5.23 85 41.32± 3.38 69 43.26± 3.15
Woody plants 57 48.56± 4.07 1392 47.43± 3.94 12 064 47.83± 3.81 3461 48.16± 3.27
Deciduous broad-leaved 17 46.81± 3.93 513 46.59± 3.55 5074 47.25± 3.42 1581 47.69± 2.68
Evergreen broad-leaved 29 49.64± 4.42 520 47.72± 4.14 4490 48.48± 3.86 1212 47.78± 3.58
Conifers 8 48.25± 2.56 252 48.43± 4.16 560 50.25± 3.33 502 50.48± 3.07
Fern 2 43.64± 3.83 98 44.47± 3.33
Vine 2 45.83± 0.33 38 46.25± 4.46 251 45.74± 4.77 82 46.73± 2.69
Bamboo 23 45.06± 4.28 30 42.98± 5.09 39 49.20± 3.54
All 142 45.01± 5.23 2306 45.64± 4.95 18 124 46.85± 3.98 3754 47.88± 3.49

For an algal estimate, see here:

Carbon is obtained from the post-carbon-capture flow and compressed to 1 MPa for transport and supply to the growth volume (requiring 248 kJ/kg of gas). Carbon uptake efficiency is 79%. The algal biomass productivity is 82.5 t/ha-yr (23.8 g/m2-d) with an elemental composition consisting of 48% carbon, 6.3% nitrogen, and 0.6% phosphorus (Huntley et al., 2015).

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    $\begingroup$ I guess it's not a coincidence that it hovers around 45%, since cellulose is 44% carbon? :) C6H10O5: (6*12.0)/(6*12.0+10*1.0+5*16.0)=0.44 $\endgroup$
    – gaspanic
    Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ I guess the issue then becomes how much is cellulose! $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ I could not find easily understood numbers on algae? The table was great for anything else, thank you!! $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 20:30
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    $\begingroup$ @HenryStone see edit pulling a direct quote $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 20:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Maximillian Press Thank you for an absolutely excellent answer! $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 10:02

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