Difference Between Respiration and Combustion

The difference between respiration and combustion is quite apparent when you realize that “chemically,” it is the same thing. However, certain processes and enzymes in our body that regulate this process of releasing energy so that our food does not spontaneously undergo combustion like fuel in rockets or automobiles. Read on to explore more:

Difference Between Combustion and Respiration

Respiration Combustion
Respiration is a cellular process Combustion does not occur inside the living cell
Respiration is a controlled biological process Combustion is an uncontrolled process
Energy is released in a stepwise manner with different biochemical reactions Energy is released in a single step
Less than half of energy is liberated as heat Energy is released as heat. It can get hot enough to produce incandescent light.
Temperature is not allowed to rise and controlled otherwise it can damage the cell The temperature during combustion is very high.
Adenosine triphosphate is formed during this process. On breakage of the molecular bond, energy is released for physiological processes. Adenosine triphosphate is not formed.
Oxidation occurs at the end of the reaction between oxygen and reduced coenzymes in the electron transport chain Substrates are directly oxidised in the combustion process
Enzymes are required for the process of respiration Enzymes are not required for combustion as it is a non-cellular process
Example: Aerobic respiration Example: Combustion of oxygen and hydrogen into water vapour

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