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Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration Equation

In prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, respiration is used to break down food to acquire energy. This process may require an environmental source of oxygen. Respiration is the process in which mitochondria convert the energy stored in food to ATP. This is known as the process of cellular respiration. Cellular respiration is of two types:

  • Aerobic respiration
  • Anaerobic respiration

Many animals, plants and bacteria use oxygen to catalyze the energy transfer process in living cells. While in anaerobic respiration, the organisms do not need oxygen for cellular respiration to take place. Some examples of anaerobic cellular respiration are decomposition of organic matter, lactic acid fermentation, etc.

Cellular respiration generally occurs inside the cell of every living organism. When anaerobic respiration occurs in organisms, many bacteria use nitrate, sulfur instead of oxygen as electron acceptors. Therefore, many bacteria use different inorganic molecules and based on that, and they are classified as:

  • Methanogens Bacteria that perform anaerobic respiration ( archaebacteria) are known as methanogens. This is because they utilize carbon dioxide as an electron acceptor. Here, CO2 is reduced to methane.
  • Sulfur bacteria A high quantity of sulfur is present as organic materials in a group of very old rocks. Sulfur bacteria can use energy from the reduction of inorganic compounds containing Sulphur, usually SO4, to hydrogen sulfide. Here sulfates are used as oxidizing agents.

The different steps that are needed for anaerobic respiration:

The cellular respiration inside an anaerobic bacteria involves two basic steps, i.e. glycolysis and fermentation. In an anaerobic reaction, pyruvic acid goes through fermentation.

Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration

  • Pyruvate: It is a compound that contains three carbons. It is broken into a two-carbon molecule known as acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) and carbon dioxide. Glycolysis is regarded as the first step in the extraction of energy. It gives four ATP molecules by the end of the reaction by substrate-level phosphorylation.

Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration

  • Fermentation reaction: Cells depend on glycolysis to produce ATP. The hydrogen molecules that are produced by glycolysis get transferred to organic molecules under these conditions. This process is known as fermentation. In bacteria, various kinds of fermentation take place.

Organic molecule and reduced NAD (NADH) gives reduced organic molecule and NAD+. The reduced organic molecule that is produced is butyric acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, etc.

The various kind of fermentation reactions are:

  1. Ethanol fermentation
  2. Lactic acid fermentation

The basic difference between anaerobic and aerobic respiration

Aerobic respiration:

  1. It uses oxygen when respiration takes place.
  2. It occurs in mitochondria and cytoplasm.
  3. Gases get exchanged.
  4. Usually, this type of respiration occurs in mammals.
  5. The end product in aerobic respiration is carbon dioxide and water that happens due to the breakdown of glucose.

Anaerobic respiration:

  1. Anaerobic respiration takes place in the absence of oxygen.
  2. This takes place only in the cytoplasm.
  3. Gases do not get exchanged in this type of respiration.
  4. This occurs in bacteria and yeasts. In other organisms like animals, it takes place during heavy activities like fast physical exercises.
  5. Here, glucose is broken down into ethyl alcohol, CO2, and energy.

Aerobic respiration in brief

The process where oxygen is required to produce energy from food is termed aerobic respiration. This type of respiration is found in plants and animals like birds, humans, etc. As we take in oxygen, it gets circulated to every cell of our body. Inside the cell, glucose is broken into carbon dioxide and water and releases energy. This energy produced due to aerobic respiration is used for the growth and development of the organism. This process is continuous and occurs all the time till our death.

Anaerobic respiration in brief

This occurs in many cell organisms, even in human beings, as a quick response during oxygen-less conditions. For example, when we perform an intense exercise like running etc., our body needs extra energy. So the cells of our muscles during those times change to anaerobic respiration to fulfil the body's needs.

Anaerobic respiration results in the production of lactic acid due to the partial breakdown of glucose. This causes cramps. It is advised that a hot shower after heavy exercise increases blood circulation, which increases the oxygen delivery to individual cells. This reduces the cramps.

In anaerobic respiration, due to lack of oxygen, a lesser amount of energy is produced.





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