Cellular Respiration

Cellular respiration is a complex metabolic reaction that involves the conversion of oxygen and carbohydrates into energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is a consumable form of energy that is used to carry out numerous activities in the cells of living organisms.[1]https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/tea.3660310605

Cellular respiration involves a series of catabolic reactions that downsize larger molecules into smaller ones by the breakdown of chemical bonds. Chemical bonds are held together by energy, and energy is released when bonds are broken. The energy that is released as bonds break is rapidly converted to form ATP molecules. Nutrients involved in this process are sugars, amino acids, and fatty acids.

Types Of Cellular Respiration

There are two types of cellular respiration: one that involves the use of oxygen (aerobic), and the other that continues the process without it (anaerobic).

1) Aerobic Respiration

This form of respiration involves the use of oxygen to generate energy. Aerobic respiration is carried out in the mitochondria (or the powerhouse) of the cell.

Theoretically, each molecule of glucose yields about 38 molecules of ATP, but due to energy losses and membrane leaks, fewer ATP molecules are produced. The by-products of aerobic respiration are carbon dioxide, water, and heat.

2) Anaerobic respiration

Anaerobic respiration is carried out in the absence of oxygen. This process makes use of electron acceptor molecules (such as sulfur, sulfate, or nitrate) instead of oxygen to break down glucose to yield energy. Anaerobic respiration is carried out in the cytoplasm of the cell.

The by-products of this reaction carried out in animals is lactic acid, whereas those in plants are carbon dioxide and alcohol (ethanol). Anaerobic respiration releases relatively less energy when compared to its counterpart–the reason for this is the incomplete breakdown of glucose.

Steps Of Aerobic Respiration

  1. Glycolysis
  2. Pryuvate decarboxylation
  3. Release if Acetyl Coenzyme A
  4. Citric acid cycle
  5. Electron transport chain