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Organisms utilize oxygen to break down components, derive energy, and generate needed biomolecules. Carbohydrates are cycled into water and carbon dioxide.

[Applied and Environmental Microbiology; v59n9; pages 2918-2926; 1993.] [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States America; v89n22; pages 10842-10846; 1992.]

Source: Atmospheric Chemistry Glossary