Q:

What happens during cellular respiration?

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Quick Answer

During cellular respiration, glucose breaks down into carbon dioxide and water. This process releases a store of energy, or ATP, that cells can use for their needs.

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Full Answer

Cellular respiration is a process by which glucose, or sugar, oxidizes intocarbon dioxide and water, releasing energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The process occurs partially in the cytoplasm, which is the material within the living cell, and partially in the mitochondria, an organelle found in most cells.

Cellular respiration starts in the cytoplasm with one glucose molecule splitting into two molecules of pyruvic acid, which is an organic acid that occurs during many metabolic processes. The pyruvic acid shuttles into the mitochondria where it is converted into acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl CoA), an important biochemical molecule that can be broken down further.

During the Citric Acid Cycle, the presence of oxygen strips the hydrogen molecules off the acetyl CoA two at a time until there are none left. All that remains of the glucose is carbon dioxide, which is a waste product, and water. The Citric Acid Cycle produces a lot of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), which carries electrons from the hydrogen molecules down an electron transport chain, resulting in the production of ATP.

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Related Questions

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    Why is cellular respiration important?

    A:

    Faculty resources from Thomas Nelson Community College explain that cellular respiration is the process by which cells produce adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. ATP is the molecule that carries energy for the cells of an organism, and it functions as a “currency” for the cells in an organism. Cells cannot store ATP; instead, they must produce it continuously or the organism will die.

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    Which organelle is the site of cellular respiration?

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    What are the reactants of cellular respiration?

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    Glucose and oxygen are the reactants of cellular respiration. In the presence of oxygen, the chemical bonds in glucose break down, creating a form of energy known as ATP that is used by cells to perform their daily functions. Water and carbon dioxide are also formed when glucose and oxygen react, but these products are expelled from the body as waste.

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    What is the primary fuel for cellular respiration?

    A:

    Glucose is the primary fuel for cellular respiration. Through the process of cellular respiration, sugars are broken down into CO2 and H2O to make ATP that can be used to perform cellular work.

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