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Cell Respiration Question

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Cell Respiration Question

Postby thewax » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:45 pm

Note: This is not a homework question. This is part of a study effort for a big upcoming test.

Question: Can you consider cellular respiration to be an oxidation reaction???????????

Progress on this question: This question actually came from the book, and their answer was that cellular respiration CAN be considered an oxidation reaction because carbon loses hydrogen atoms. I got really confused here because there are many redox reactions in cellular respiration (take water, for example - it gets reduced, as the final most electronegative player in the electron transport chain) - if there are so many redox reactions in cellular respiration, how can you categorize cellular respiration to be an oxidation reaction just by one of its reactions?????
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Postby MrMistery » Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:07 pm

well, generally you need to remember that an oxidation reaction is always accompanied by a reduction reaction. But there is a difference between how general chemists and organic chemists use the term "oxidation". In organic chemistry, we talk about oxidation whenever a carbon containing compound loses hydrogens. Sure, the hydrogens need to go somewhere and you generally get water or something, but that's just how we look at things. It all depends on what compounds you care about really...
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Postby thewax » Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:19 pm

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

As you pointed out, an oxidation reaction is usually accompanied by a reduction reaction (which it is in the case of cellular respiration). So cellular respiration could be considered an oxidation reaction even though they are reduction reactions, too, because it really depends on how you look at cellular respiration and what molecules you are concerned with, right???????????????
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Postby MrMistery » Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:25 pm

yes
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Postby thewax » Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:43 am

ok... thanks!!!!!!!!!!! :)
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