Cellular Respiration in Mitochondria

Cellular respiration is the process mitochondria use to release energy.  During this process, mitochondria consume glucose and oxygen as reactants provide a cell with 3 things:
(1) Energy (This is the main purpose of cellular respiration)
(2) Water (byproduct)
(3) Carbon dioxide (byproduct)

20170624 cellular respiration 1b
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Keep in mind that water and carbon dioxide are both byproducts that do not really matter.  The only important product is energy!

How much energy does cellular respiration release?  Each round of cellular respiration releases 36 ATP worth of energy!  For more information on ATP, visit THIS POST.

20170625 ATP 3 Respiration
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Next Generation Science Standards:

MS-LS1-7.            Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism.

HS-LS1-6.             Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for how carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from sugar molecules may combine with other elements to form amino acids and/or other large carbon-based molecules.

HS-LS1-7.             Use a model to illustrate that cellular respiration is a chemical process whereby the bonds of food molecules and oxygen molecules are broken and the bonds in new compounds are formed resulting in a net transfer of energy.

HS-LS2-3.             Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.

HS-LS2-5.             Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.

What Science Does this Comic Teach?

Unit: Cell Biology

⇒Chapter: Cell

⇒Topic: Cellular Respiration

Additional Information


These are a special type of organelles responsible for using glucose to generate energy for the cell.  For more information, see this comic post (will open a new tab): Mitochondria Definition


The simplest explanation is that these are the “unimportant” products produced by chemical reactions.


They are the “ingredients” of a chemical reaction.  In a chemical reaction, reactants are used to produce “products”, which are the end results of a reaction.


Glucose is the simplest form of sugar and contains a lot of energy–think of the phrase “sugar-rush”.  Because it is “simple”, it can be easily absorbed into an organism’s body/cells to provide the organism with energy.


ATP stands for “adenosine triphosphate” and it is the molecule cell use to store energy released from cellular respiration in mitochondria.

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