Comparison between Cellular Respiration and Photosynthesis

Essay by BreelyHigh School, 11th gradeB+, October 2008

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Photosynthesis and respiration are both processes that are necessary for the survival of organisms. However, in numerous ways these two processes are very diverse as they are responsible for distinct necessities. Therefore they both have similarities and differences. One major difference between the two is that photosynthesis takes place completely in plants while respiration occurs equally in plants and animals. Nevertheless to understand Photosynthesis and respiration, we need to understand what is photosynthesis and cellular respiration and examine each of these processes in detail and associate them to the parts of a cell responsible for each function.

Photosynthesis is the procedure in which green plants use sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to make food and oxygen and cellular respiration is the process where cells use this food to release stored energy. With that being said we can beginPlant cells retain chloroplasts. These functions within the plant cells use a compound named chlorophyll to obtain energy through the sun and combine with water and carbon dioxide to fabricate glucose (type of sugar) and oxygen.

The chemical equation describing this effect, photosynthesis is written this way: 6CO2+6H2O+energy →6O2+C6H12O6. By this meaning that each separate reaction, the chloroplast requires 6 water molecules and 6 carbon molecules, and additionally little sunlight energy. From these it can produce, by breaking down the molecules and reorganizing the particular atom, exactly 1 glucose molecule and 6 oxygen molecules.

Containing a total of 24 atoms, the glucose molecule is large. It takes energy to generate this large molecule and this energy remains stored in the molecule awaiting to be released in respiration. Thus, energy can be moved from place to place.

Other functions within the cell utilize the glucose molecule; this cell section is called mitochondria. Every mitochondrion obtains glucose, breaks it down into atoms, and by...