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How is ATP different from glucose?

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Quick Answer

ATP is different from glucose because ATP is the final product of cellular respiration. The energy found in glucose is used to manufacture ATP, according to Dr. Michael Gregory of Clinton Community College.

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Glucose also differs from ATP in its composition. Both types of molecules contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, but ATP also contains phosphorus and nitrogen.

During cellular respiration, glucose is broken down into water and carbon dioxide. This process also produces 38 molecules of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. There are four different steps in the process of cellular respiration: glycolysis, the transition reaction, the citric acid cycle and the electron transport chain.

Glycolysis produces two molecules of ATP for every molecule of glucose. The transition reaction does not produce any ATP. The Krebs cycle produces two molecules of ATP along with the NADH used in the electron transport chain. Finally, the electron transport chain produces 32 molecules of ATP for every molecule of glucose used.

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