Aerobic Vs. Anaerobic Cellular Respiration

Difference Between Aerobic And  Anaerobic Cellular Respiration

Cellular respiration can be defined as a set of reactions related to metabolism inside the cells that helps in the conversion of nutrients into ATP- adenosine triphosphate- which are small molecules of energy.

As far as aerobic respiration is concerned oxygen is really important for the generation of the ATP. However in case of anaerobic respiration a separate process called the electron transport chain with the help of organic molecules but oxygen generate ATP.

No oxygen is necessary in case of anaerobic respiration which is also called fermentation. There are two types of fermentation, alcoholic fermentation and lactic acid fermentation.

There is a shortage of oxygen supply inside the muscle cells, so the lactic acid fermentation occasionally happens inside the muscle cells. The burning feeling inside the muscle during physical exercise is due to the generation of lactic acid.

The cells disintegrate the sugar molecules with the help of reactions along with enzymes and thus they can thus they can derive the energy from the food stuffs. In case of aerobic respiration the energy is more competently released. When oxygen is not available so that sugar molecules can be broken and the energy can be released, there are some cells which with the help of the fermentation process or anaerobic glycolysis or anaerobic respiration can produce energy.

There are some organisms which do not require oxygen in molecules to generate ATP. These organisms use ATP with the help of the metabolic pathway in which the carbohydrates are chronologically converted into incompletely oxidized end products.

As for example Brewer’s yeast- which is a single celled, free existing and non parasitic fungus- can ferment various monosaccharide and disaccharides. In the process of anaerobic respiration/fermentation of yeast most sugar molecules are disintegrated to generate carbon dioxide and ethanol.

In case of aerobic respiration all the organisms (eukaryotic and prokaryotic) depend upon oxygen to survive. Aerobic respiration is a catabolic reaction which according to hypothesis can generate 36-38 ATP molecules per glucose during the process of respiration.

In this type of respiration, an organism takes in oxygen and uses it as the terminal electron acceptor in the ETC (electron transport chain). It again appears as a water molecule when the aerobic reaction comes to an end.

In the Kreb’s Cycle the decarboxylation process eliminates the carbon dioxide and the transitional elements help to remove the hydrogen atoms which are shifted to oxygen. At last the mitochondria release the carbon dioxide as a waste.

Thus we see that carbohydrate is disintegrated into sugar and in turn into ATP. The following chemical reaction can explain the process beautifully.

C6H12O6 + 6O2 + 6H2O ——> 6CO2 + 12H2O + energy


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