How are Respiration & Combustion of Gasoline Similar?

Automobiles and living organisms actually produce energy in similar fashions.
••• Hemera Technologies/ Images

Many people might not see an obvious link between cellular respiration and the combustion of gasoline. After all, internal combustion involves the ignition of a volatile fluid. However, combustion and respiration are remarkably similar in that in both contexts one fuel source is broken down in a way that releases its energy in a form that is usable.

Combustion: Cellular-Style

Just as an automobile burns gasoline so it can move, living cells burn fuel to provide energy to the body. Instead of burning octane, however, biological organisms do this by oxidizing food, such as sugars, fats and proteins. For example, automobiles burn fuel in this way: octane + oxygen = water + carbon dioxide + energy, while organisms process food like this: sugar + oxygen = carbon dioxide + energy.

Related Articles

What Type of Animals Eat Plants?
Type of Energy Produced by Photosynthesis
What Are the Functions of Photosynthesis?
Difference Between Protozoans & Algae
Similarities Between Combustion & Cellular Respiration
How to Convert Grams of Fuel Per kWh to Gallons Per...
The Advantages of Anaerobic Respiration
The Most Common Organic Molecules in Cells
Safe Combustion Reaction Experiments
How Do Bacteria Respire?
How Are Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration Related?
What Type of Animals Eat Plants?
How Does the Sun Affect the Food Web?
What Do Volvox Eat?
How to Convert Propane Gas to BTU
What Is a Producer in an Ecosystem?
What Are the Functions of Carbohydrates in Plants?
What Are the 10 Major Body Systems?
Why Do Plants Need Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration?
How Does a Plant Convert Light Energy to Chemical Energy?