Cellular respiration plays a role in the water cycle because it makes water molecules from glucose and oxygen. The hydrogen in the water molecule forms the glucose molecule C6H12O6 while the oxygen in the water molecule comes from the oxygen gas atom.
Cellular respiration is the key to life for living cells. Without them, the cells wouldn’t have the energy they need to do all the work they have to do to stay alive. The processes and reactions of cellular respiration vary between organisms and are often quite complex. Understanding how water is formed during the process is critical to understanding how cellular respiration helps fuel living cells.
How Glycolsis Cycle Produces Water Molecules?
Glycolysis is the first of three stages of cellular respiration. In it, a series of reactions break down glucose, or sugar, and turns it into molecules called pyruvate and releases water molecules as a by-product.
Different organisms have different means of obtaining glucose. People eat foods that contain sugar and carbohydrates, which the body then converts into glucose.
Cells take glucose and combine it with oxygen to produce four molecules of adenosine triphosphate, commonly referred to as ATP, and six molecules of carbon dioxide during glycolysis.
Additionally, two water molecules are created during this step, but these are a by-product of the reaction and are not used in the next steps of cellular respiration. Only later in the process are more ATP and water formed.
However, the second step of cellular respiration, the TCA cycle or citric acid cycle, consumes water molecules during the reaction, so the water molecule released in the glycolysis cycle can be used in the TCA cycle and therefore may not be released into the atmosphere and does not affect the level of water molecules in the environment.
How does the electron transport chain contribute to the water cycle?
The electron transport chain is the third and final step in cellular respiration. It is the main phase of cellular respiration where water is formed, along with most of the ATP needed to fuel cell life. It starts with NADH and FADH2 transporting protons (hydrogen molecules) around the cell and creating ATP through a series of reactions.
Towards the end of the electron transport chain, the hydrogen from the coenzymes meets the oxygen consumed by the cell and reacts with it to form water. In this way, water is formed as a by-product of the metabolic reaction.
The main task of cellular respiration is not to create this water, but to supply energy to the cells. However, water plays a crucial role in plant and animal life, so it’s important to consume water rather than relying on cellular respiration to create as much water as your body needs.