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Difference between Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration

Main Difference

The main difference between these two chemical reactions that happen inside a cell is that occurs in the mitochondria and needs glucose and oxygen and generates water, carbon dioxide, and energy. On the other hand, anaerobic respiration also takes the same steps except for oxygen and moreover generate comparatively generate less energy.

Comparison Chart

Basis of DistinctionAerobic RespirationAnaerobic Respiration
DefinitionAerobic respiration is the kind of cellular respiration that needs oxygen to produce ATPAnaerobic respiration is the process of generating cellular energy without the requirement of oxygen
Place of OccurrenceIn the mitochondriaIn the cell cytoplasm
Chemical EquationC6H12O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6H2OC6H12O6 -> 2C3H6O3
ProduceCarbon Dioxide, Water, and EnergyLactic Acid
Quantity of EnergyRelatively higher than anaerobic respirationRelatively less than aerobic respiration
Replacement of Hydrogen Atoms in GlucoseYes No
Breakdown of Organic FoodCompleteIncomplete

Aerobic Respiration

Aerobic respiration is the kind of cellular respiration that needs oxygen to produce ATP. In simple words, it can be said as the process of generating cellular energy using oxygen. The process starts by breaking down organic good by cells in the mitochondria, and further multi-processing ends in the generation of 36 ATP. The three steps involved in the production phase are glycolysis, citric acid cycle and electron transport system in step by step order. This respiration process remains in the continuous state of plants and animals. The respiration system is, and enzymes control the reactions. During the aerobic respiration, the release of energy is common the organism uses that in multiple ways. This energy can be deployed to generate larger molecules for the smaller ones like plants generate amino acids from nitrates, sugars and other nutrients and these amino acids are then built up to generate larger molecules like proteins. The energy is also used by the animals as well that allow the muscles to contract so that the animals can move. The energy released during aerobic respiration can also be used by the birds and mammals to keep their body temperature steady.

Anaerobic Respiration

Contrasting to aerobic respiration, anaerobic respiration is the process of generating cellular energy without the requirement of oxygen. Anaerobic respiration process is relatively fast as compared to the aerobic respiration but generates 2 ATP that is many times less than aerobic respiration.  The overall process happens in the cytoplasm where glycolysis emits energy from fermentation and glucose recycles NAHD back to NAD+. Although it is not common to take place in plants but sometimes held in some microbial cells and plants in the presence of no or little oxygen. The common example of the process is roots of plants in waterlogged soils and bacteria in open wounds. Anaerobic respiration releases less energy per glucose as compared to the aerobic respiration. Anaerobic respiration has a direct relation with yeast and bacteria as it takes place in both to produce carbon dioxide and ethanol. This is used in making many organic foods like vinegar, bread, and yogurt. Moreover, the anaerobic respiration of microorganisms also results in the production of several commodities like the conversion of sugars into ethanol that is called as fermentation. When this fermentation happened on a larger scale using sugar, yeast, water and other nutrients, bioethanol is formed that can be used as a fuel.

Key Differences

  • Aerobic respiration takes place in most cells as compared to the anaerobic respiration that occurs in prokaryotes only.
  • 36-.8 ATP molecules energy is released during aerobic respiration as compared to the 36-2 ATP molecules during anaerobic respiration.
  • The products produced during aerobic respiration are water, carbon dioxide, and ATP while the products produced during anaerobic respiration are reduced species, carbon dioxide, and ATP.
  • The reactants of aerobic respiration are glucose and oxygen while the reactants of anaerobic respiration are glucose and electron acceptor except for
  • Anaerobic respiration produces ethanol or lactic acid while aerobic produces none of them.
  • Aerobic respiration in a cell can only take place if oxygen is present while anaerobic respiration does not need oxygen at all.
  • Stages involved in aerobic respiration process are glycolysis, Krebs cycle and electron transport chain. Steps involved in anaerobic respiration process are glycolysis and fermentation.
  • Simple sports training like swimming, jogging, and scuba diving needs aerobic respiration while intense sports training and other exercises require anaerobic respiration.
  • Aerobic respiration is common in all higher animals and plants while anaerobic respiration is very rare in all higher animals and plants.
  • Aerobic respiration process takes place inside living cells only, but the condition of living cells is not necessary in the case of anaerobic respiration.
  • Aerobic respiration is a continuous process that takes place throughout the life of animals and plants, but it is a temporary process in case of anaerobic respiration.
  • Aerobic respiration process is non-toxic to both animals and plants while it is toxic to both animals and plants.
  • Aerobic respiration is the complete breakdown of organic food as compared to the incomplete breakdown of organic food in the case of anaerobic respiration.
  • Aerobic respiration replaces all hydrogen atoms in glucose while there are not replaced in anaerobic respiration.

Video Explanation

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