Anaerobic respiration occurs in the absence of oxygen, unlike aerobic respiration. Some organisms such as certain types of bacteria carry out anaerobic respiration as the main or only kind of respiration, while other organisms such as ourselves only carry out anaerobic respiration under special circumstances.
An example is muscle strength workouts. When a muscle is worked beyond the available oxygen in the cells, anaerobic respiration takes over aerobic respiration, and its products eventually result in the muscle becoming sore, twitching and being unable to carry on contracting.
What are these products and how do they get made in anaerobic respiration?
Let’s continue with the muscle workout example. Under aerobic conditions, the NADH produced from glycolysis of partially broken down hexoses like glucose joins the Krebs cycle where the final electron acceptor following the electron transport chain is oxygen.
In anaerobic respiration there is no oxygen available, so what happens? Instead of getting oxidised by oxygen, NADH is oxidised by…