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By Daniel E. Atkinson

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U n d e r storage conditions at all ordinary temperatures, however, gasoline is so kinetically stable, even in contact with air, that it is transported and stored in nearly complete safety. The energy-releasing reaction is initiated, when desired, simply by * A brief introduction to some relevant aspects of chemical thermodynamics is presented in Appendix A. 48 3. Functional Stoichiometric Coupling and Metabolic Prices the heat of an electric arc between spark plug terminals. The situation is closely similar for the primary biological fuels.

In the cell, N A D P H is a stronger reducing agent than N A D H , and g = g 0 n RT, [ox] + — In n& [red] (3-5) thus better suited for biosynthetic reductions, by virtue of the relative degrees of reduction of the two couples. Conversely, N A D is a stronger oxidizing agent than N A D P + . Several metabolic conversions are m a d e thermodynamically favorable by being coupled to the transfer of a pair of electrons from N A D P H to N A D , rather than by the use of A T P . As one example, the carbohydrate of m a m m a lian semen is predominantly fructose.

But when A D P is phosphorylated the A T P / A D P concentration ratio is moved farther from its hydrolysis equilibrium value, so the statement that part of the free energy of respiration is conserved in the maintenance of a nonequilibrium A T P / A D P ratio would be acceptable. The central point of our discussion of conservation of energy is that since chemical energy is always a function of concentration ratios, anything that can reasonably be termed conservation of chemical energy must deal with conservation or maintenance of concentration ratios.

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