Question Video: Stating the Balanced Chemical Equation for Cellular Respiration Biology

While excluding energy/ATP, state the correct and balanced chemical (symbol) equation for aerobic respiration.


Video Transcript

While excluding energy/ATP, state the correct and balanced chemical, symbol, equation for aerobic respiration.

Cellular respiration is the process of converting energy in glucose to ATP to provide energy for our cells. There are two types of cellular respiration, aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic respiration requires the use of oxygen, while anaerobic does not. In aerobic respiration, glucose is combined with oxygen to make carbon dioxide, water, and energy in the form of ATP.

The equation shown here is a word equation. Let’s add the chemical symbols for each of these molecules and balance it to answer this question. The chemical formula for glucose is given by C6H12O6. Oxygen is given by O2. Carbon dioxide is given by CO2. And the chemical formula for water is given by H2O. First, we’ll balance the carbons in carbon dioxide to equal the six carbons in glucose. Then, we’ll balance water to match the 12 hydrogens in glucose. This leaves us with 18 oxygens on the products side. So we’ll balance the oxygen on the reactants side to match this while accounting for the six oxygens in glucose.

So the correct and balanced equation for aerobic respiration is one molecule of glucose plus six molecules of oxygen produces six molecules of carbon dioxide plus six molecules of water.

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