Difference between Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration for Students

Difference between aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration :

  1. Respiration is a continuous process in every living organism and without respiration no organism can survive on earth. 
  2. There are mainly two types of respiration and in this article we will see the Differences between Aerobic and Anaerobic respiration.
  3. Respiration is defined as a process of oxidation of food materials, especially glucose, fatty acids and amino acids, to water and carbon dioxide.
  4. Respiration involves chemical reactions that break down nutrient molecules in living cells to release energy
  5. In aerobic and anaerobic respiration, is that they both use glucose as the starting molecule. This is called the substrate.
  6. In addition, both aerobic and anaerobic respiration produce ATP, however, aerobic respiration produces a lot more ATP compared to anaerobic respiration. 
  7. Food is oxidized in both cases and energy is released. Glucose can be used by two pathways i.e. aerobic and anaerobic respiration. 
  8. Glucose is completely oxidised only in the presence of oxygen and results in the release of energy. 
  9. It undergoes three steps to finally reach its fate - glycolysis, Kreb's cycle and electron transport chain reaction. 
  10. In anaerobic respiration, glucose undergoes partial oxidation and results in the release of energy which is comparitvely less to the energy released during aerobic respiration.

Difference between Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration

Distinguish between Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration

Aerobic respiration Anaerobic respiration
Aerobic respiration is a cellular respiration that takes place in presence of oxygen to produce energy from food is called aerobic respiration. Anaerobic respiration is the process of cellular respiration that takes place in absence of oxygen to produce energy from food.
Oxygen is present when this form of respiration take place Oxygen is absent when this form of respiration take place
It can be found in the cytoplasm and the mitochondria It can be found only in the cytoplasm
Glucose breaks down into carbon dioxide and water Glucose breaks down into carbon dioxide, ethyl alcohol and energy
It involves the exchange of gases between the organisms and outside environment In anaerobic respiration exchange of gases is absent
Aerobic respiration takes longer time to release energy. It is fast process as compared to aerobic respiration.
In aerobic respiration glucose is completely oxidized to CO2 and H2O. In Anaerobic respiration glucose is incompletly oxidized to either an organic acid or alcohol with CO2.
In aerobic respiration high amount of energy is produced In anaerobic respiration less amount of energy is produced
A net gain 36 molecules of ATP occurs. A net gain of only 2 molecules of ATP occurs
All higher organisms such as mammals have this type of respiration Lower organisms such as bacteria and yeast are this type of respiration .
End products of aerobic respiration are Co2 and water. End product of anaerobic respiration can be lactic acid or CO2 and Alcohol.


Similarities Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration 
  1. The major Similarities between Aerobic and Anaerobic respiration both are  catabolic pathways (breaking of molecules) because they degrade organic molecules like Glucose.
  2. Both aerobic and anaerobic respiration use glucose as the starting molecule.
  3. Both aerobic and anaerobic metabolic reactions takes place inside the cells.
  4. Both respiration produce verious kinds of by-products.
  5. Food is oxidized in both cases and energy is released.
  6. The both are Exergonic processes are released energy in external environment and Produce chemical energy in the form of ATP.
  7. They are exothermic processes as they release heat to the outside environment.
  8. Another important Similarity between aerobic and anaerobic respiration is Both release ATP through oxidative phosphorylation.


What is aerobic respiration :

  1. The cellular respiration which involves the presence of oxygen and produces energy from the food is called aerobic respiration.
  2. At the end of the aerobic respiration water and carbon dioxide are produced as the end product. 
  3. Oxygen is present when thisform of respiration take place It can be found in the cytoplasm and the mitochondria
  4. Glucose breaks down into carbon dioxide and water. 
  5. It involves the exchange of gases between the organisms and outside environment.
  6. In aerobic respiration high amount of energy is produced A net gain 36 molecules of ATP occurs. All higher organisms such as mammals have this type of respiration.

Importance of Aerobic Respiration  :
Aerobic cellular respiration is the process by which the cells of a living organism break down food and convert it into the energy they need to perform their essential functions. The importance of aerobic respiration in living things cannot be understated. Without this process, no living thing would survive.
  1. The importance of aerobic respiration lies in the dynamics of life. 
  2. Aerobic respiration uses oxygen and glucose to generate inorganic compounds such as carbon dioxide and water.
  3. The products and by-products of aerobic respiration are used as raw material for the photosynthesis processes of plants, so they would represent a "cycle" of matter and energy. 
  4. Without aerobic respiration, the dynamic cycle of matter and energy would not be fully accomplished. Moreover it would not be fulfilled at all. 
  5. Plants, algae and cyanobacteria would not have such a large amount of carbon dioxide to transform it into oxygen. 
  6. Even cellular respiration provides all the energy for living systems with aerobic respiration, in order to carry out all their biological processes and functions.

What is anaerobic respiration :
  1. Anaerobic means “without oxygen ”. Hence, this type of cellular respiration does not use oxygen to produce energy.  
  2. Sometimes there is not enough oxygen around for some organisms to respire, but they still need the energy to survive.  
  3. Due to lack of oxygen, they carry out respiration in the absence of oxygen to produce the energy they require, which is referred to as anaerobic respiration. 
  4. Anaerobic respiration usually occurs in lower plants and microorganisms. In the absence of oxygen, the glucose derived from food is broken down into alcohol and carbon dioxide along with the production of energy. 
  5. Oxygen is absent when this form of respiration take place.It can be found only in the cytoplasm. 
  6. Glucose breaks down into carbon dioxide,ethyl alcohol and energy. 
  7. In anaerobic respiration exchange of gases is absent. Inanaerobic respiration less amount of energy is produced. 
  8. A net gain of only 2 molecules of ATP occurs. Lower organisms such as bacteria and yeast are this type of respiration. 

Importance of Anaerobic Respiration
Anaerobic respiration is another type of cellular respiration. Aerobic respiration needs oxygen, but anaerobic respiration does not. The importance of anaerobic respiration in humans is related to the muscles during exercise. When the body does not receive enough oxygen during exercise, it relies on anaerobic respiration for an energy supply.

Like aerobic respiration, anaerobic respiration also breaks down glucose, but it releases only about 5 percent of the energy released by aerobic respiration, per molecule of glucose. Instead of carbon dioxide and water, anaerobic respiration produces lactic acid.

Also Read: