What Is the Formula for Cellular Respiration?

The simplified formula for aerobic cellular respiration is C6H12O6 (s) + 6 O2 (g) → 6 CO2 (g) + 6 H2O (l) + energy. The cellular respiration process consumes one molecule of glucose, and turns it into adenosine triphosphate, ATP. It takes in oxygen, and releases water and carbon dioxide.

ATP is a chemical used to store energy in the body. It is estimated that approximately 30 molecules of ATP are produced per molecule of glucose. By comparison, anaerobic respiration, a different chemical pathway that does not rely on oxygen, is 15 times less efficient; it only produces two molecules of ATP for each molecule of glucose.