Difference Wiki

Synthesis vs. Biosynthesis: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 28, 2023
Synthesis is the process of combining elements to form a compound, whereas biosynthesis is the formation of complex compounds within living organisms.

Key Differences

Synthesis is a broad term for creating compounds by combining simpler substances, applicable in various scientific fields. On the other hand, biosynthesis specifically refers to the production of complex compounds within living organisms, using biochemical pathways.
In synthesis, compounds are formed through chemical reactions, often in a laboratory setting. While, biosynthesis occurs naturally within living cells, involving enzymes and other biological catalysts.
Synthesis can be relatively simple or highly complex, and is often controlled and manipulated by scientists. Whereas, biosynthesis, being a natural process, is intricately regulated by the organism’s biological systems.
Synthesis is used in chemical manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and materials science. Biosynthesis is essential in processes like the formation of proteins, nucleic acids, and other vital biomolecules.
Synthesis often requires external energy sources, like heat or electricity. Biosynthesis derives energy from biochemical reactions within the organism, often using ATP or similar molecules.

Comparison Chart


Combining elements to form compounds
Natural formation of compounds in organisms


Chemical reactions in controlled settings
Natural processes using enzymes


Varies, can be controlled
Complex, regulated by biological systems


Chemical, pharmaceutical, materials
Protein, DNA, cellular components synthesis

Energy Source

External, like heat or electricity
Internal, biochemical energy like ATP

Synthesis and Biosynthesis Definitions


Combining Elements.
Water is formed by the synthesis of hydrogen and oxygen.


Enzyme Involvement.
Enzymes play a crucial role in lipid biosynthesis.


Artificial Production.
Industrial synthesis is key in pharmaceuticals.


Cellular Activity.
Biosynthesis occurs in the cells of all living organisms.


Merging Ideas.
His thesis was a synthesis of historical and modern views.


Metabolic Pathways.
Glucose biosynthesis is part of plant metabolism.


Chemical Creation.
Synthesis in the lab led to the creation of a new polymer.


Natural Compound Formation.
Biosynthesis in plants produces essential oils.


Process of Formation.
The synthesis of compounds requires precise conditions.


Biological Process.
The biosynthesis of proteins is vital for cell function.


The combining of separate elements or substances to form a coherent whole.


Formation of a chemical compound by a living organism. Also called biogenesis.


The complex whole so formed.


(biochemistry) The synthesis of organic compounds within a living organism, especially the synthesis of large compounds from small ones.


Production of a chemical compound by a living organism.


The production of chemical substances by use of reagents or enzymes derived from living organisms, in reactions modeled on those observed in living organisms.


Production of a chemical compound by a living organism


Can synthesis occur in nature?

Typically, it refers to artificial processes in labs.

Is biosynthesis a type of synthesis?

Yes, it's a specific type occurring within living organisms.

What is biosynthesis?

The natural production of complex compounds within living organisms.

What energy sources are used in synthesis?

External sources like heat, light, or electricity.

What drives biosynthesis?

Internal biochemical energy, usually from ATP.

What is synthesis?

Combining elements or compounds to form new substances.

How crucial are enzymes in biosynthesis?

They are essential for catalyzing biosynthetic reactions.

What role does biosynthesis play in health?

It's crucial for producing vital biomolecules and energy.

How does temperature affect synthesis?

It can speed up or slow down the reaction rate.

Does light influence biosynthesis?

In some cases, like photosynthesis in plants.

Can synthesis replicate natural compounds?

Yes, though it can be complex.

Are enzymes used in synthesis?

Not typically, as it's often a non-biological process.

What is an example of synthesis?

Creating ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen.

Is synthesis important in industry?

Yes, especially in pharmaceuticals and chemical manufacturing.

Is biosynthesis a target for medical research?

Yes, particularly in drug development and understanding diseases.

Is biosynthesis ever manipulated in biotechnology?

Yes, in areas like genetic engineering and pharmaceuticals.

Do all living organisms perform biosynthesis?

Yes, it's a fundamental aspect of life.

Can synthesis create new materials?

Absolutely, like plastics or synthetic fibers.

Are there risks associated with synthesis?

It depends on the substances involved; some can be hazardous.

Can you give an example of biosynthesis?

The production of insulin in the human body.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons