Material Type:
Rice University
AMP, ATP, ATP Synthase, ATP Yield, Acetyl CoA, Adenosine Triphosphate, Aerobic Respiration, Alcohol Fermentation, Aldolase, Anaerobic Cellular Respiration, Bacterial Fermentation, Carbohydrate Metabolic Pathway, Cellular Metabolism, Cellular Respiration, Chemiosmosis, Circular Pathway, Citric Acid Cycle, Coenzyme a, Complex I, Complex II, Complex III, Complex IV, Dephosphorylation, Electron Transport Chain, Energy, Energy Transfer, Enolase, FAD, FADH, Feedback Inhibition, Fermentation, Fumarate, GLUT Protein, GTP, Glucose, Glucose Breakdown, Glucose Metabolism, Glycogen, Glycolysis, Glycolysis Regulation, Hexokinase, Hydrolysis, Insulin, Isomerase, Krebs Cycle, Lactate Dehydrogenase, Lactic Acid Fermentation, Linear Pathway, Lipid Metabolic Pathway, Metabolic Pathway, Mitochondrial Disease, NAD, NADH, NADP, Oxidative Phosphorylation, Phosphate Group, Phosphofructokinase, Phosphorylation, Photosynthesis, Prosthetic, Protein Metabolic Pathway, Pyruvate, Pyruvate Kinase, Pyruvate Oxidation, Pyruvic Acid, Redox Reaction, Regulation, Substrate Phosphorylation, Succinyl CoA, TCA Cycle, Ubiquinone


A photograph shows an energy plant on a hillside with clouds of white steam immediately above the plant
This geothermal energy plant transforms thermal energy from deep in the ground into electrical energy, which can be easily used. (credit: modification of work by the U.S. Department of Defense)

The electrical energy plant in Figure converts energy from one form to another form that can be more easily used. This type of generating plant starts with underground thermal energy (heat) and transforms it into electrical energy that will be transported to homes and factories. Like a generating plant, plants and animals also must take in energy from the environment and convert it into a form that their cells can use. Mass and its stored energy enter an organism’s body in one form and are converted into another form that can fuel the organism’s life functions. In the process of photosynthesis, plants and other photosynthetic producers take in energy in the form of light (solar energy) and convert it into chemical energy in the form of glucose, which stores this energy in its chemical bonds. Then, a series of metabolic pathways, collectively called cellular respiration, extracts the energy from the bonds in glucose and converts it into a form that all living things can use.