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Compare Anaerobic Respiration with Aerobic Respiration

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Did you know that Usain Bolt is currently the fastest sprinter in the world? He ran 100 metres in a record 9.58 seconds!

 

Image of athletes running

 

In order to do this, Usain Bolt’s muscles need to respire super quick. He needs all that energy to sprint so fast. But his body can’t keep up with these demands - it can’t respire fast enough. This is where anaerobic respiration steps in. 

 

Image of females exercising

 

 

Anaerobic respiration is where glucose breaks down but without oxygen. Energy or ATP is released, but not as much as in aerobic respiration. Lactic acid is produced instead of carbon dioxide and water. Stores of glycogen in the muscles and liver are broken down to release more glucose, eventually causing muscles to become tired. Lactic acid can cause painful cramps - something we feel in our muscles that stops us from carrying on. To get rid of the lactic acid, the person must breathe in deeply in order to get a good supply of oxygen. You have to keep breathing hard for a while after you stop exercising to get oxygen into your muscles. This is used to convert the painful lactic acid which has built up, to harmless carbon dioxide and water. The amount of oxygen needed to do this is called the oxygen debt.

Anaerobic respiration can be represented by the word and symbol equation: 


glucose → lactic acid 

 

C6H12O​6  → 2C3H6O3

 

 

The reactant in anaerobic respiration is glucose. The product is lactic acid. A small amount of energy is also released.

Anaerobic respiration occurs in the cytoplasm of the cell rather than the mitochondria, as in aerobic respiration. 

Plants can also respire anaerobically. However, they don't produce lactic acid. Glucose is broken down into ethanol and carbon dioxide.

 

Image of plant and animal cell

 

Uses of anaerobic respiration

Image of alcohol

 

 

Yeast is a fungus that can respire anaerobically. It has many uses - the most common use is in bread-making and alcohol brewing.Yeast will respire anaerobically if there is a source of glucose and no oxygen present. The yeast will release ethanol (the chemical name for alcohol) and carbon dioxide. In alcoholic drinks such as wine, the source of glucose is the fruit used -  grapes for instance. In bread-making, the flour is often the source of glucose. The carbon dioxide released helps bread to rise, giving it its fluffy texture. This process is also known as fermentation.


glucose → ethanol + carbon dioxide

 

C6H12O​6  → 2C2H5OH + 2CO2

 

Image of bread made with yeast

 

 

Anaerobic vs Aerobic Respiration

The purpose of respiration is to release energy. Both types of respiration will release energy in differing amounts. Let's take a look at some of the other similarities and differences between aerobic and anaerobic respiration:

 

 

Anaerobic Respiration

  Aerobic Respiration

Similarities

 

 

Both require a glucose source

 Energy released 

 

Differences

 

 

A small amount of energy is released

 Oxygen not needed as a reactant

 Lactic acid released in mammalian cells

 Ethanol and carbon dioxide in yeast and plants

 

 

A larger amount of energy is released

 Oxygen is needed as a reactant

 Carbon dioxide and water are released as products

 

In the following activity, you will compare anaerobic respiration with aerobic respiration.

What is the name of the fungus used to bake bread and make alcoholic drinks? 

Lizzie is making bread. She adds yeast to her flour and other ingredients before placing it in the oven. Lizzie's bread rises nicely.

 

How did the bread rise? 

 

Image of bread

Column A

Column B

The yeast respires anaerobically
in the dough causing it to rise
The carbon dioxide gets trapped
releasing carbon dioxide

What is meant by the term oxygen debt?

The amount of oxygen needed to break up glucose into carbon dioxide and water

The amount of oxygen needed to break up lactic acid into carbon dioxide and water

The amount of oxygen needed to break up lactic acid into energy

What are two differences between anaerobic and aerobic respiration?  

 

 1

  ATP is released in both anaerobic and aerobic respiration

 2

 Less ATP is released in anaerobic respiration than in aerobic respiration

 3

 Carbon dioxide isn't produced in anaerobic respiration but is in aerobic respiration

 4

 Glucose is a reactant in aerobic and anaerobic respiration

1 and 4

2 and 3

3 and 4

Plants, like animals, can respire anaerobically.

 

Describe how plants and animals differ when they respire anaerobically.

1 and 4

2 and 3

3 and 4

Plants can respire anaerobically. The equation below is the chemical equation for anaerobic respiration.

 

Fill in the box labelled X and Y.


Image of anaerobic respiration equation

X: C6H12O6

X; O2

Y: CO2

Y: H2O

Select some similarities and differences between aerobic and anaerobic respiration.

 Aerobic respirationAnaerobic respiration
Requires glucose as a reactant
Small amount of energy released
Oxygen is a reactant
Lactic acid released
Ethanol and carbon dioxide released in yeast and plants
Large amount of energy released
Carbon dioxide and water released

When making cider, an alcoholic drink, apples are used as a source of sugar. Yeast and water is added to the mixture. During this process, the mixture is sealed so no air can enter.

 

Why is this an important step?

So oxygen doesn't enter the mixture causing the yeast to stop respiring

So oxygen enters the mixture causing the yeast to respire

So oxygen doesn't enter the mixture causing the yeast to respire aerobically

So oxygen enters the mixture causing the yeast to stop respiring

 

When making cider, an alcoholic drink, apples are used as a source of sugar. Yeast and water are added to the mixture. During this process, the mixture is sealed so no air can enter.

 

What would happen if air did enter the mixture?

So oxygen doesn't enter the mixture causing the yeast to stop respiring

So oxygen enters the mixture causing the yeast to respire

So oxygen doesn't enter the mixture causing the yeast to respire aerobically

So oxygen enters the mixture causing the yeast to stop respiring

Karl is at the gym exercising. After a while on the treadmill, he gets a cramp in his legs. Karl blames lactic acid building up in his muscles.

 

What is the chemical equation for this process?

 

 

A. C6H12O6  → 2C3H6O3

B. 2C3H6O3  → C6H12O6

C. C6H12O6  → 2C2H5OH + 2CO2

A

B

C

  • Question 1

What is the name of the fungus used to bake bread and make alcoholic drinks? 

CORRECT ANSWER
Yeast
EDDIE SAYS
Making bread and brewing alcohol are the two most common uses of yeast asked about in exams, so it's worth taking the time to review this and commit it to memory!
  • Question 2

Lizzie is making bread. She adds yeast to her flour and other ingredients before placing it in the oven. Lizzie's bread rises nicely.

 

How did the bread rise? 

 

Image of bread

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

The yeast respires anaerobically
releasing carbon dioxide
The carbon dioxide gets trapped
in the dough causing it to rise
EDDIE SAYS
Remember the equation for anaerobic respiration in yeast cells? The products are alcohol or ethanol, plus carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide here proves to be useful! It helps the bread to rise, keeping it nice and fluffy.
  • Question 3

What is meant by the term oxygen debt?

CORRECT ANSWER
The amount of oxygen needed to break up lactic acid into carbon dioxide and water
EDDIE SAYS
The term debt means when you owe someone something, normally money! Here, the body owes oxygen, which is why you will have to breathe in quickly and deeply after exercising hard in order to take in as much oxygen as possible. This oxygen will then break up the lactic acid and convert it into carbon dioxide and water.
  • Question 4

What are two differences between anaerobic and aerobic respiration?  

 

 1

  ATP is released in both anaerobic and aerobic respiration

 2

 Less ATP is released in anaerobic respiration than in aerobic respiration

 3

 Carbon dioxide isn't produced in anaerobic respiration but is in aerobic respiration

 4

 Glucose is a reactant in aerobic and anaerobic respiration

CORRECT ANSWER
2 and 3
EDDIE SAYS
This is one of those questions that needs to be read carefully to avoid getting it wrong! All the four options are giving correct details about both sorts of respiration. 1 and 4 are similarities between aerobic and anaerobic respiration, since both types of respiration need glucose as a reactant and release energy. We were looking for differences, so the answer was options 2 and 3. More energy is released in aerobic respiration than in anaerobic, and also carbon dioxide is only a product in aerobic respiration.
  • Question 5

Plants, like animals, can respire anaerobically.

 

Describe how plants and animals differ when they respire anaerobically.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The correct sentence should read: Plants produce ethanol (or alcohol) and carbon dioxide when they respire anaerobically, whereas animals produce lactic acid. Don't forget the most common chemical name for alcohol is ethanol, so you could have put either of the two to gain the mark.
  • Question 6

Plants can respire anaerobically. The equation below is the chemical equation for anaerobic respiration.

 

Fill in the box labelled X and Y.


Image of anaerobic respiration equation

CORRECT ANSWER
X: C6H12O6
Y: CO2
EDDIE SAYS
How are you with your chemical formulae? Y was relatively straightforward with carbon dioxide or CO2. But not so glucose! Take your time to familiarise yourself with the molecular formula for glucose: C6H12O6 It comes up in loads of different topics in science!
  • Question 7

Select some similarities and differences between aerobic and anaerobic respiration.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Aerobic respirationAnaerobic respiration
Requires glucose as a reactant
Small amount of energy released
Oxygen is a reactant
Lactic acid released
Ethanol and carbon dioxide released in yeast and plants
Large amount of energy released
Carbon dioxide and water released
EDDIE SAYS
There was lots to remember here. How did you get on with it? Don't forget that the main purpose of respiration is to produce energy! If you're not too confident with all of the statements above, take a bit of time to learn these important facts and maybe have another go at this question.
  • Question 8

When making cider, an alcoholic drink, apples are used as a source of sugar. Yeast and water is added to the mixture. During this process, the mixture is sealed so no air can enter.

 

Why is this an important step?

CORRECT ANSWER
So oxygen doesn't enter the mixture causing the yeast to respire aerobically
EDDIE SAYS
Don't worry if you didn't know the answer to this question. Often, questions will come up that you have not met before - but try to use knowledge that you do have! You know that yeast respires anaerobically to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. If oxygen is present, anaerobic respiration can't take place! Making sure no oxygen enters the mixture means that the yeast will respire anaerobically, producing alcohol (ethanol).
  • Question 9

 

When making cider, an alcoholic drink, apples are used as a source of sugar. Yeast and water are added to the mixture. During this process, the mixture is sealed so no air can enter.

 

What would happen if air did enter the mixture?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
If oxygen gets in, the yeast will start to respire aerobically which will not produce alcohol! It's important that no oxygen is present, otherwise fermentation won't occur!
  • Question 10

Karl is at the gym exercising. After a while on the treadmill, he gets a cramp in his legs. Karl blames lactic acid building up in his muscles.

 

What is the chemical equation for this process?

 

 

A. C6H12O6  → 2C3H6O3

B. 2C3H6O3  → C6H12O6

C. C6H12O6  → 2C2H5OH + 2CO2

CORRECT ANSWER
A
EDDIE SAYS
Lactic acid will cause pain! Our body won't be able to tolerate a build-up of lactic acid. The only option is to breathe deeply to break it up. So, you know that anaerobic respiration needs glucose as the reactant and produces lactic acid - but what is the chemical formulae for these substances?! Glucose is a complicated one but you need to learn it: C6H12O6 So the equation is C6H12O6 → 2C3H6O3 You might have been able to eliminate C immediately because it had carbon dioxide as a product, which could not happen in anaerobic respiration. Another activity completed - well done!
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