What is the difference between respiration and photosynthesis?

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trophyhunter1's profile pic

trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Respiration occurs in all living things--including plants. Respiration can be aerobic(with oxygen present) or anaerobic(without oxygen). It is a process by which chemical energy in food is released for use in the cell in the form of ATP. In aerobic respiration, glucose is converted to carbon dioxide, water and 36 ATP, a high energy compound used by cells for energy. An example of anaerobic respiration is when yeast cells ferment glucose to form alcohol and carbon dioxide, both waste products and 2 ATP. Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants and algae convert carbon dioxide and water, in the presence of light energy absorbed by the pigment chlorophyll, into glucose(chemical energy) and oxygen(waste product). Respiration releases the energy stored in the chemical bonds of glucose and photosynthesis stores light energy in the form of chemical energy--glucose.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Respiration is a process by which animals take oxygen from their environments required for converting food in to energy and release the carbon dioxide generated in this process to the environment.Photosynthesis is a process by which plant convert light energy in to chemical energy and store as food.

We can identify three major differences between respiration and photosynthesis. These are:

  1. Respiration occurs in animals while photosynthesis occurs in plants.
  2. Respiration involves absorbing oxygen from the environment and releasing carbon dioxide in it. The reverse happens in the process of photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide is absorbed from the environment and oxygen is released.
  3. Respiration is part of process that converts food or chemical energy to heat or work energy. Photosynthesis is the process of producing food by converting light energy to chemical energy.

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