How can the chemical equation for aerobic cellular respiration show the formation of ATP?

1 Answer
Oct 1, 2016

Refer to the explanation below.


When writing the chemical equation for aerobic respiration, we usually leave out the ADP, the phosphates (P) and the ATP. In order to show the conservation of energy, we can include ADP, P, and ATP.

Aerobic Cellular Respiration

#"C"_6"H"_12"O"_6"+ 6O"_2"+"38"ADP" + "38P"##rarr##"6CO"_2 + "6H"_2"O" + 38"ATP"#

The diagram below shows how ADP and P become ATP and vice versa. Respiration produces ATP, and when energy is needed by the cell, ATP molecules lose their third phosphate groups, and the energy released when the bond is broken is used by cells to do work.