How the cell gets it's energy. Revision

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  • Created by: TBird
  • Created on: 01-12-12 17:51

How the cell gets its energy.

To be able to carry out the processes needed for life a cell needs a source of energy. It gets this by breaking down food molecules to release the stored chemical energy that they contain. This process is called cell respiration.

The process of respiration happens in all the cells of our body. Oxygen is used to oxidise food, and carbon dioxide (and water) are released as waste products. 

The main food oxidised is glucose (a sugar).

Glucose contains stored chemical energy that can be converted into other forms of energy that the cell can use. This chemical energy can be used for a variety of purposes such as

contraction of muscle cells,producing movement

active transport of molecules and ions

building large molecules such as proteins

cell division.

The energy released as heat is also used to maintain a steady body temperature in animals such as mammals and birds.

The reaction for respiration is

glucose+ oxygen = carbon dioxide + water

C6 H12 O6 + 6O2 = 6CO2 + 6H2 

This is called aerobic respiration, because it uses oxygen. It is not just carried out by human cells, but by all animals and plants and many other organisms . This process happens gradually as a sequence of small steps which release the


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