Cellular respiration is a chemical reaction that allows cells to convert food energy into chemical energy. All organisms perform some form of cellular respiration, because without the correct form of chemical energy, cells can't perform work to sustain life.
During cellular respiration, oxygen and glucose (sugar) are transformed into carbon dioxide and water. Chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is released during the reaction.
Products in a chemical reaction are the substances that are formed during the reaction. Carbon dioxide and water are the products of cellular respiration.
Cellular respiration is a "redox" reaction, because some atoms are reduced and some are oxidized. When an atom loses electrons or hydrogen atoms, it is "oxidized." When another atom accepts those electrons or hydrogen atoms, it is "reduced." Oxidation releases energy, and reduction stores energy.
Glucose is oxidized during cellular respiration to form carbon dioxide. Oxidation releases the energy stored in the chemical bonds of the glucose molecule.
Cells need ATP to power the work they do, which includes growing, reproducing, tissue repair and specific tasks such as making antibodies or carrying oxygen throughout the body.
- Photo Credit "Onion cells 2" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: kaibara87 (Umberto Salvagnin) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
How Do Aerobic & Anaerobic Respiration Differ?
Aerobic and anaerobic respiration are both metabolic pathways of cellular respiration in plants and animals. Both biological processes break down sugars that...
Cellular Respiration in Plants
Cells in both plants and animals use cellular respiration as a means of converting stored energy into a chemical that individual cells...
How Are Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration Related?
Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are complementary biochemical reactions. Photosynthesis requires the products of respiration, while respiration requires the products of photosynthesis. Together...
What Is the Equation for Aerobic Cellular Respiration?
Cellular respiration is a process by which cells convert sugars from the environment to energy. The difference between the two types --...
What Are the Final Waste Products of Cellular Respiration?
Cellular respiration is the process whereby your cells break down sugar and fat molecules and convert the energy released through these reactions...
Products Produced by Anaerobic Respiration
In biology terms, respiration is the process by which cells break down sugar. Within a cell, two types of respiration may occur:...