CNO cycle

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the CNO cycle in heavier stars is a lower energy reaction for conversion of hydrogen into helium using carbon as a catalyst. It may also be the dominant cause for nitrogen and oxygen production also.

Specifically the CNO cycle looks like this:

12C + H --> 13N + gamma ray 
13N --> 13C + positron + neutrino 
13C + H --> 14N + gamma ray 
14N + H ---> 15O + gamma ray 
15O --> 15N + positron + neutrino 
15N + H --> 12C + 4He 

Theoretical models show that the CNO (carbon-nitrogen-oxygen) cycle of nuclear fusion is the dominant source of energy generation in heavier stars. The cycle results in the fusion of four hydrogen nuclei (1H, protons) into a single helium nucleus (4He, alpha particle), which supplies energy to the star in accordance with Einstein's equation. Ordinary carbon serves as a catalyst in this set of reactions and is regenerated.