Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration

Cellular respiration is an exothermic reaction which is continuously occurring in all living cells.

The energy that is transferred is needed for all living processes such as:

   - Chemical reactions to build larger molecules

   - Movement

   - Keeping Warm

Respiration in cells can take place aerobically (using oxygen) or anaerobically (without oxygen)

Aerobic Respiration

Aerobic respiration take place using oxygen and can be represented with the word equation below:

Glucose + Oxygen --> Carbon dioxide + Water

Anaerobic Respiration

Anaerobic respiration takes place without oxygen. There is a different equation depending on whether it occurs in muscle cells or in plant and yeast cells.

In muscle cells:


Glucose --> Lactic Acid

In plant and yeast cells:

Glucose --> Ethanol + Carbon dioxide

In plant and yeast cells this process is known as fermentation. It is an economically important process as the ethanol produced is used in the production of alcoholic drinks and the carbon dioxide produced by yeast can be used to make bread rise.

Comparing Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration

Aerobic respiration transfers more energy than anaerobic respiration as the glucose is completely oxidised.


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