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The Word Equation for Aerobic Respiration - image 2

The Word Equation For Aerobic Respiration


Aerobic Respiration is a metabolic reaction that all living things carry out to release energy.

You may remember from KS3 science that all living things can carry out MRS GREN. One of the R’s in MRS GREN stands for respiration!

Movement      Respiration      Sensitivity      Growth      Reproduction      Excretion      Nutrition

These represent the processes that all living things can do!


Aerobic respiration uses oxygen.

It takes place mainly inside the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells.

The word equation for Aerobic Respiration - image 3

The chemical reaction can be summarised using the equation:

Glucose + oxygen → water + carbon dioxide (+energy)


Glucose and oxygen are the reactants of respiration. We get glucose from the food we eat and oxygen from the air we breathe. Plants, as you may remember, can make their own glucose through photosynthesis. They also get oxygen from the air as it diffuses in through pores called stomata in their leaves.

Water and carbon dioxide are the products of respiration.

Energy is not a product as energy cannot be made. Instead we say that energy is released as this reaction takes place. Releasing this energy is the whole point of respiration and is why living things need to do it all the time!

As the glucose reacts with oxygen, the energy stored within the glucose is released so it can be used by cells. Aerobic respiration fully breaks down the glucose so large amounts of energy are released in this reaction.

The energy released can be used by cells to build new molecules such as proteins or carbohydrates, for cell division and growth and for active transport.

If there is insufficient oxygen available, cells can use anaerobic respiration, this only takes place in the cytoplasm.

Author: MyEdSpace
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