• Written By Rumela_M
  • Last Modified 11-04-2024

Types of Respiration


Every living organism has to “breathe” to survive. The process by which the living organisms use their food to get energy is called respiration. It is an oxidation reaction involving the degradation of food sequentially and the generation of energy. In respiration, glucose from the digestive system reacts with oxygen from the breathing system. As a result of this reaction, carbon dioxide and water are released as waste products exhaled, and energy is released as a useful product. 

The respiratory system generates the route by which the oxygen in our environment enters the body, and the carbon dioxide produced is exhaled. The cell organelle in which respiration takes place is called Mitochondria. The energy released from the respiratory reaction is stored in the form of Adenosine triphosphate or ATP.  

Definition: Respiration can be defined as the process used by the body to release energy from digested food (glucose). 

The Process of Respiration 

When we respire, we take in oxygen, and we give out carbon dioxide. This process by which we continuously exchange the gases is called “breathing”. In the process of respiration, glucose is broken down into pyruvate. Let us have a look at what are the essential points we should keep a note of to know how the process of respiration takes place. 

  • The respiration process takes place in the cytoplasm.
  • The glucose molecules are broken down into Pyruvic Acid. 
  • Glucose molecules are made up of 6 carbon atoms. Pyruvic acid is made up of 3 carbon atoms. 
  • The Pyruvic Acid Is further broken down in mitochondria. The molecules that are formed as a result depend on the type of respiration that takes place in an organism. 

There are two types of respiration: Aerobic and Anaerobic. In the following section, let us see the characteristics of these two types of respiration.

Aerobic Respiration

Aerobic respiration takes place in the presence of oxygen. In this type of respiration, energy is released and as a part of the end result, water molecules are formed as well. In this type of respiration, pyruvic acid is converted into carbon dioxide.

Anareobic Respiration 

Anaerobic respiration takes place in the absence of oxygen. In Anaerobic respiration, pyruvic acid is either converted into Ethyl alcohol or Lactic acid. Lactic Acid forms in some microbes as well as in the muscle cells. Ethyl Alcohol is formed as a result of anaerobic respiration in microbes such as bacteria or yeast. 

We will take a look at the different characteristics of the two types of respiration:

Aerobic RespirationAnaerobic Respiration 
Oxygen is required for Aerobic respiration Oxygen is not required for Anaerobic respiration
It occurs in most of the cells.It occurs mostly in the prokaryotes.
A high amount of energy is released (36 – 38 ATP molecules)A lower amount of energy is released (36-2 ATP molecules)
Aerobic respiration passes through the stages of Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, and Electron Transport ChainAnaerobic respiration passes through the stages of Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, and Electron Transport Chain
The end products of Aerobic respiration are Carbon Dioxide, water, and ATPThe end products of Anaerobic respiration are Carbon Dioxide, reduced species, and ATP
The reactants of Aerobic respiration are glucose and oxygen.The reactants of Anaerobic respiration are glucose, and an electron acceptor (not oxygen).
Combustion is complete in Aerobic respirationCombustion is incomplete in Anaerobic respiration
Cytoplasm and mitochondria are the sites of reactions for Aerobic respiration Cytoplasm and mitochondria are the sites of reactions for Anaerobic respiration.
Aerobic respiration does not produce ethanol or lactic acid as a result of the reaction.Ethanol or lactic acids are produced as a result of anaerobic respiration.

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