What is Cellular respiration?

It is the process of oxidating simple foods to produce energy for biological activities within living cells called Cellular respiration.

Organisms gain food from the digestive system and oxygen from the respiratory system by inspiration.

These two components react with each other and give energy as the main product and carbon dioxide, and water as by-products.

This is the balanced chemical equation for cellular respiration.

Balanced chemical equation for respiration

There are two forms of respiration based on the requirement for oxygen.

  • Aerobic respiration and Anaerobic respiration.

Aerobic respiration refers to respiration that occurs in the presence of oxygen.

Respiration carried out by organisms without oxygen is known as anaerobic respiration.

Types of cellular respiration

Aerobic respiration

The energy produced by aerobic respiration is greater than the energy produced by anaerobic respiration.

This is because glucose is completely broken down during aerobic respiration.

Anaerobic respiration

The energy produced by anaerobic respiration is lower than the energy produced by aerobic respiration. This is because of the incomplete breakdown of glucose anaerobic respiration.

When Anaerobic respiration takes place in plants and yeast cells, it is called alcohol fermentation.

It turns glucose into carbon dioxide and Ethyl alcohol other than energy.

When anaerobic respiration takes place within animal cells, it is called lactic acid fermentation.

It turns glucose into lactic acid and energy.

Athletes who participate in short distance races sometimes suffer from muscle pain and cramping, due to the accumulation of lactic acid, in muscles.

This happens due to anaerobic respiration in muscle cells.

ATP energy

What happens to the energy produced by the process of cellular respiration?

Part of this energy is lost as heat, and the rest is stored in ATP (Adenosine Tri – Phosphate) as chemical energy.

When the body needs energy for its biological processes, energy is released by the breakdown of ATP.

The functions of ATP

Storing energy after production, releasing energy when needed, and acting as an energy carrier.

The energy stored in ATP is used for lots of our activities and biological processes.

Examples are, For active transportation, For muscle contractions.

for protein synthesis, for the Illumination of some organisms, and the generation of electricity in some organisms (like in electric eel)

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Anuradhika Lakmali

Anuradhika Lakmali is a co-founder of Science A Plus learning network. She is working as a government teacher and has interest in chemistry, biology, phisics and self development.