Cellular Respiration Essay

Satisfactory Essays
Living organisms need energy to perform life functions. To obtain this energy all cells must carry out a process called respiration. In nearly every living thing on Earth, the energy comes from the metabolism of glucose. Essentially all living things require basic sugars to carry out respiration. Cellular respiration is a process in which cells produce the energy they need to survive. It is a series of metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms and are essential to all living cells. In this process biochemical energy is converted from nutrients into Adenosine Tri-phosphate (ATP). ATP produced during cellular respiration is the universal energy for all living organisms.
Food molecules of chemical energy is released and partially captured in the form of ATP in the process in cellular respiration. Glucose is most commonly used as an example to examine the reaction of Cellular respiration but other fuels that can be use are fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
The formula for cellular respiration is glucose + oxygen --> carbon dioxide + water + energy and the chemical equation for it is C6H12O6 + 6O2 --> 6CO2 + 6H2O + ATP. Cellular respiration can be split in to three metabolic processes: glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. Each of these occurs in a specific region of the cell. The first step of cellular respiration is glycolysis, it occurs in the cytosol. Gylcolysis literally means the breakdown of glucose. The process of Glycolysis is both anaerobic without oxygen and aerobic with oxygen. Aerobic is when, in the cytosol converts 1 molecule of glucose into 2 molecules of pyruvate. The glucose can’t be converted into pyruvate without help, 2 NAD+ and 2 ATP. Once glycolysis is c...

... middle of paper ...

...ugar) molecule and breaking it down. Fermentation is the second step of anaerobic respiration. It starts with pyruvate, the end product of glycolysis. Either ethanol (a fancy name for alcohol) or lactate (lactic acid) can be produced form the fermentation of pyruvate depending on the organism. CO2 released during fermentation, all ATP is produced during glycolysis. Since 2 ATP are produced in glycolysis, 2 ATP are formed from every molecule of glucose during anaerobic respiration.

In summary cellular respiration can be anaerobic or aerobic respiration. This all depending on whether there is oxygen. Aerobic respiration can produce up to 38 ATP with a single molecule of glucose, where as 2 ATP in total are made by anaerobic respiration. Aerobic respiration is more efficient than that anaerobic respiration as it can make a significant amount more ATP, when compared.
Get Access