Oxidation and Reduction


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My AP Biology Thoughts

Unit 3 Cellular Energetics

Welcome to My AP Biology Thoughts podcast, my name is Victoria Villagran and I am your host for episode # 70 called Unit 3 Cellular Energetics: Oxidation and Reduction. Today we will be discussing Oxidation and Reduction

Segment 1: Introduction to Oxidation and Reduction

  • They are redox reactions, a type of chemical reaction that involves a transfer of electrons between two species, and are vital to the basic functions of life, including photosynthesis
  • Specifically, an oxidation-reduction reaction is any chemical reaction in which the oxidation number of a molecule, atom, or ion changes by gaining or losing an electron. Energy can also be transferred by the transfer of electrons in reduction-oxidation
  • Reduction is the gain of one or more electrons; endergonic reactions
  • Oxidation is the loss of one or more electrons; exergonic reactions
  • They always happen together
  • The more reduced a molecules is, the more energy is stored in its bonds
  • OIL RIG (Oxidation Is Loss; Reduction Is Gain)

Segment 2: More About Oxidation and Reduction in Cellular Respiration

  • Cellular Respiration: glucose is oxidized and oxygen is reduced and
  • Only looking at where molecules are being either reduced or oxidized
  • Glycolysis
  • Glucose is being slowly oxidized as it is being converted into pyruvate, and then that electron is added to NAD+, reducing NAD+, converting it to NADH.
  • This produce 4 ATP, 2 Pyruvates, and 2 NADH from 2 ATP, 2 NADH+, and Glucose
  • The energy in oxidizing glucose or lost from it was lost as heat
  • Pyruvate Oxidation
  • Pyruvate is oxidized (removing electrons) which then that electron reduced NAD+ to NADH, connecting glycolysis to the citric acid cycle
  • This produces NADH, Acetyl CoA, CO2 from Pyruvate and Coenzyme A, and energy is released from the oxidation reaction and lost as heat
  • Citric Acid Cycle
  • Acetyl CoA (2C) reacts with oxaloacetic acid (4C) to form citric acid (6C); citrate gets oxidized and loses carbons in the form of CO2. In that process, NAD+ and FAD are reduced into NADH and FADH2. Oxaloacetate is regenerated.
  • The acetyl group is what is left of the glucose and is broken down (metabolized) in the citric acid cycle
  • Summary: Gaining electron carriers while oxidizing the carbon molecules or stripping away electrons like glycolysis
  • To sump it up, NAD = to NADH (reduction), FAD is reduced to FADH2
  • Citrate is oxidized in many steps
  • Electron Transport Chain/ ATP Synthesis
  • Electron transport: electrons from the oxidation of NADH and FADH2 pass from one carrier to the net in the chain. The oxidation reactions are exergonic, energy released is used to actively transport H+ions across the membrane
  • Cells transfer energy from NADH and FADH2 to ATP by oxidative phosphorylation:
  • NADH oxidation is used to actively transport protons (H+) across the mitochondrial membrane, resulting in a proton gradient
  • Diffusion of protons back across the membrane then drives the synthesis of ATP

Segment 3: Connection to the Course of Cell Energetics

  • Due to oxidation and reduction reactions, cells can use organic and inorganic molecules to create or transfer energy to power the cell, through specific processes such as cellular respiration and photosynthesis, and the synthesis of ATP. Where these molecules are either losing or gaining electrons, and the heat released or absorbed are lost as heat or used to power the step in the process to provide energy for the cell. Which then leads to the bonds in ATP being broken and are strong enough to power different cellular processes or the cell’s metabolism.

Thank you for listening to this episode of My AP Biology Thoughts. For more student-ran podcasts and digital content, make sure that you visit www.hvspn.com. Have a nice day!

Music Credits:

  • "Ice Flow" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
  • Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
  • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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