The Chemistry of Grass

IntroductionGrass is the green plant that one sees lining most streets across the country. Possibly the most durable of all flora, grass gets neglected, excreted on, walked on, and ripped from its home. I chose grass because it happens to be my last name, and my father is a golf course Superintendent and agronomist. Grass sequesters carbon in the air, filters water run off, cools urban environments, creates oxygen, and provides a great environment for recreational activities.

Composition of ...

Grass is grown from a seed. It has a root, a crown, and a leaf. It is 70% water. It is a completely naturally occurring substance, therefore 100% organic. It is made up of basic elements, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus. As it goes through the process of photosynthesis, it also contains chlorophyll and cellulose.

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

The two main components of grass are water and lignin. Water is the common term for H2O. Lignin, a less commonly known macromolecule, has 3 different forms. C9H10O2, C10H12O3, and C11H14O4.

Water is abundant in nearly all life forms. Lignin, however, is generally found more in wood products. It is also an integral part of the secondary cell walls in plants and some algae. It plays a very important part in conducting water through plant stems.

Chemistry's Role

Water, or H2O is a naturally occurring compound. Lignin is also a naturally occurring compound.

Grass, by itself, is completely natural. Many components that encourage growth and health of grass are man-made, but grass can aptly survive on its own, taking care of itself. Chemistry comes into the picture when a grass seed begins to grow. It takes water, oxygen, and sunlight to grow.

Background Research

With over 9,000 species of graminoids (grasses), grass can grow in almost any climate. Because it is a plant, it needs sunlight and water to grow. It starts with a seed, then spreads its fibrous roots. The grass stem then grows upwards towards the crow and even further upwards to form a blade. Grass undergoes photosynthesis.


Grass composition\

Species information

Growth pattern

Golfdom Magazine (October 2011, pages 16-25)

Uses of grass

Grass composition

lignin information

About the Author

Katie Grass is a junior at Billings Senior High. She enjoys dance, cheerleading, traveling, and rock climbing. She plans to attend Ohio State University in the fall of 2013 and pursue cheerleading and a degree in surgical nursing.