Aerobic Respiration

Respiration is the process that releases energy in cells from glucose. This process takes place in all living organisms, including animals and plants, and takes place in the mitochondria within the cytoplasm of cells.

Do not confuse respiration with ventilation (breathing), which is the process of inhaling and exhaling air to supply oxygen to the body and remove waste products.

There are two types of respiration:

  • Aerobic respiration – requires oxygen and produces a large amount of energy
  • Anaerobic respiration – does not require oxygen and produces a smaller amount of energy

The type of respiration that occurs depends on the availability of oxygen.

Aerobic Respiration

The word equation for aerobic respiration is:

Glucose + Oxygen Carbon Dioxide + Water

Or in other words, glucose is reacting with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and water. This reaction releases energy, so sometimes the equation may show energy in brackets.

For example, when we run:

Relating Respiration and Photosynthesis

Respiration and photosynthesis are opposite processes that are essential for the survival of living organisms. Respiration involves the breakdown of glucose to release energy. Whereas, photosynthesis is the process by which plants use energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen.

The glucose and oxygen produced during photosynthesis are used by plants and other organisms for respiration.

Plant respiration takes place in the dark and in the light. However, photosynthesis only takes place in the light.