How would you compare and contrast active transport and facilitated diffusion?

1 Answer
Jan 26, 2017

One of the main comparisons is that active transport occurs against the concentration gradient whilst, facilitated diffusion occurs down the concentration gradient.


  • Active transport is an active process. Thus, it requires energy. Whereas facilitated diffusion is a passive process and does not require energy.
  • Active transport uses carrier proteins. Energy is used to change the shape of the carrier protein. Facilitated diffusion uses both gated channel proteins and carrier proteins in transport.

  • Facilitated diffusion is used for mainly large, polar molecules which can not cross the phospholipid bilayer as they are hydrophilic (polar molecules, that is!). Active transport is used to transport molecules against their concentration gradient.

If you do want to read up more about it , you could refer to this link (it contains applications of the processes!):