Q:

What happens in the alveoli during gas exchange?

A:

Quick Answer

During gas exchange, oxygen from the air breathed in diffuses into the bloodstream, and carbon dioxide from the bloodstream diffuses into the air in the alveoli. This gas exchange occurs through the thin wall of the alveoli.

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Full Answer

The alveoli are small, round protrusions in the lungs. The interior of the alveoli is maximized to provide a large surface area for gas exchange. Capillaries cover the outside walls of the alveoli. These capillaries contain deoxygenized blood that is high in carbon dioxide waste. The carbon dioxide moves through the thin capillary wall into the alveoli where it mixes with air and is exhaled. At the same time, oxygen in the inhaled air passes into the capillaries, which carry it to nourish other parts of the body.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Explain the process of gas exchange in the lungs?

    A:

    Gas exchange in the lungs allows oxygen to diffuse through the small air sacks or alveoli at the end of one's bronchial tubes into the blood, and it allows carbon dioxide to move from the blood into the alveoli to allow the individual to expel the waste. Fresh oxygen comes into the lungs when one inhales and is removed upon exhaling, according to WebMD.

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  • Q:

    What is the purpose of the alveoli?

    A:

    Alveoli are small air sacs in the lungs that absorb the oxygen that we breathe in and remove all the carbon dioxide from the bloodstream.

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  • Q:

    What happens between the alveoli and the capillaries?

    A:

    Diffusion is a process that occurs during respiration, in which gasses pass between the walls of the alveoli and the capillaries. According to the National Institutes of Health, oxygen moves from the lungs into the blood, and carbon dioxide is removed from the blood an exhaled.

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  • Q:

    How does gas exchange happen in earthworms?

    A:

    Earthworms actually breathe through their skin, which means that their mechanism for gas exchange involves their entire body. This means that oxygen comes in through the skin and that carbon dioxide ultimately exits the same way. Inhalation draws air through the skin, and the oxygen dissolves in dampness on the skin of the worm, entering the capillaries directly.

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