Difference between active transport and passive transport
active transport vs passive transport:
The human body is a complicated network of cells and molecules and the interaction between these cells and the different fragments can be quite fascinating. Thus, the terms active transport and passive transport refers to two such mechanisms of the body where the different movements of molecules through a concentration gradient is defined. The term concentration gradient refers to an instant when a gradual change in concentration of particles in a solution between two regions occurs as a result of unequal distribution of ions across the cell membrane.
What is active transport?
During active transport a molecule is carried from a region of lower concentration to a region of higher concentration against the concentration gradient. Because of the resistance which occurs during this process, it needs energy. It is thus named as “active” transport because of its one vital ingredient, which is the energy that is required for this process. An example of active transport could be mentioned as the uptake of salt by cells through a sodium pump. It is also known as an uphill transport because of this resistance which renders this process difficult.
What is passive transport?
Passive transport can be defined as a process in which a molecule is carried from a higher concentration to a lower concentration along the concentration gradient and therefore, it faces no resistance. Because of the lack of resistance, passive transport requires no energy for this purpose to take place and hence the name “passive” transport”. For example, one can mention the instance when the concentration of water is more intense on the outside the cell than inside, and the water flows into the cell much easily. Passive transport is also referred to as downhill transport because of this process. Some examples for passive transport can be listed as Osmosis , diffusion, facilitated diffusion and filtration.
What is the difference between passive transport and active transport?
While active transport involves the carrying of a molecule or a solute against concentration gradient or electrical gradient from where the concentration is lower to a region where the concentration is higher, passive transport involves the carrying of a molecule or a solute along the concentration or electrical gradient from where the concentration is higher to a region where it is lower. Therefore, during an active transport, the resistant is much higher than during a passive transport. Therefore, while active transport is referred to as an uphill transport, passive transport is referred to as a downhill transport.
The main difference between active transport and passive transport is the fact that active transport needs energy which is known as Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) in order for this uphill climb to be carried through. This is because of the resistance that naturally occurs during this process which needs to be overcome in order for this process to take lace. Since passive transport occurs almost automatically with no resistance, no such energy is required. This is also the deciding factor which determines the terms, active and passive transport.
While active transport and passive transport are often linked with the processes which take place inside the human body, it does not limit itself to that as these sorts of movements are often associated in biology in terms of plants and animals as well.