Difference Between Active Transport and Passive Transport


Main Difference

Active Transport and Passive Transport both are the biochemical transport process that is performed inside the body of living organisms. Both these transport processes are referred towards the higher living organisms. The basic difference between both kinds of transport is that Active Transport requires chemical energy to complete its biochemical transport as it have to move the molecules from lower concentration towards the high concentration which is against the natural law of transportation and it thus requires energy for this purpose, Whereas passive transport is the transport system which does not require any energy or external force as it is a moment of biochemical from higher concentration towards lower concentration.

Comparison Chart

Active TransportPassive Transport
DefinitionActive Transport referred towards the moment of molecules forcefully against the concentration gradient with the help of energy.Passive Transport referred towards the moment of molecules down the concentration gradient following natural phenomena which does not require energy.
FunctionsWith the help of ATP energy packets, the main function is to supply nutrition and food against the concentration gradient following the cell membrane and other obstacles. Supplying nutrition inside the body of the cell and forcefully moving waste outside the cell body.The basic function is to maintain the equilibrium of liquids and gasses inside the body. It regulates the flow of water molecules and extracellular fluids. Stops net diffusion after attaining the equilibrium state.
Types of Particle TransportIt transport usually insoluble, heavy and complex particles such as sugars, ions, large cells, protein particles, amino acids, etc.Everything and kind of small particles that are soluble and are dissolved in the blood stream such as hormones, water, oxygen, etc.
Types of TransportExocytosis, Endocytosis, Passing particle through the membrane, pumping through sodium and potassium obstacles.It includes Diffusion, Osmosis, facilitated diffusion, etc.
UsageOther than regular transport, a eukaryotic cell needs proteins, lipids, and large sugar molecules as well, which cannot enter cell body on their own but by pumping them forcefully inside by the help of ATP energy.The biggest use of passive transport is that it maintains the equilibrium of the body. It regulates the water and gasses into and out to the cell. It deals with the soluble substances. Diffuse out waste and diffuse in the nutrition.
ExamplesCommon examples of active transport include pinocytosis, endocytosis, exocytosis, phagocytosis, etc.Common examples of passive transport inside the body include the phenomena of diffusion, osmosis, and facilitated diffusion, etc.

What is Active Transport?

Active Transport is the biological body transport system that does not follow the natural phenomena of transport. In this kind of biochemical transport, large and heavy molecules of food and waste are forcefully moved in and out of the cell body with the help of pumping that requires energy. In other words, active transport can also be described as the phenomena of transportation of larger molecules against the concentration gradient with the help of energy. Usually, according to the concentration gradient, molecules move from higher concentration towards the lower concentration. Active transport works against this phenomena using force pumping and energy. Active transport is very much necessary in higher organism who have eukaryotic cells. A eukaryotic cell needs protein, lipids, large sugar and various other particles too. Active transport is the phenomena due to which all these proteins, lipids and sugars are transported inside the cell body forcefully passing the cell membrane with the help of chemical energy. The chemical energy provided for active transport is gathered from ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate) packets, which are the rich energy source that provides energy to the whole body and helps in metabolism. Energy provided by the ATP is used for protein pumping which helps in the entrances of protein and lipid particles inside the cell passing the cell membrane. These phenomena are termed as phagocytosis, pinocytosis, endocytosis and exocytosis depending upon the kind of substance transport in or out from the cell. It works against the concentration gradient as it forcefully enters the food inside the cell and moves the waste out.


What is Passive Transport?

Passive Transport is the common type of usual body transport system that follows the natural phenomena of transport. Passive transport is down the concentration gradient. In other words, passive transport can be described as the moment and transportation of molecules from higher concentration towards the lower concentration. It is the natural phenomena following the nature rule. It does not require any energy, pumping or force as the molecules automatically move and get transported from higher concentration towards lower concentration region. Passive transport includes the movement and transport of soluble substances that are smaller in size and can be easily dissolved in the blood stream i.e. oxygen, water, etc. The basic purpose of passive transport inside the body is to maintain the body equilibrium. Passive transports help in the regulation of water and other molecules all around the body. It usually transports water, gasses and extracellular fluid in the whole body. Passive transport is further categorized, or we can say divided into sub transport types. These are diffusion, osmosis, and facilitated diffusion. Diffusion is the moment of gaseous molecules from higher concentration area towards lower concentration region. Osmosis is the moment of water molecules from higher concentration towards the lower concentration through the semipermeable membrane (i.e. Cell membrane). Facilitated diffusion is the phenomena of the moment of larger molecules from higher concentration towards the lower concentration with the help of carrier proteins that help in passing the lipid layer of the cell membranes.

Active Transport vs. Passive Transport

  • Active Transport is the biological phenomena of transporting larger molecules against the concentration gradient with the help of
  • Passive transport is the biological phenomena of transporting soluble and small molecule down the concentration gradient.
  • Energy in the form of ATP is required in Active transport.
  • No energy is required in passive transport, and molecules flow automatically.
  • Energy is used in active transport for forceful pumping of nutrients such as proteins, lipids, inside the cell body.
  • All the small and soluble substances in the blood stream are transported via passive transport.
  • Phagocytosis, pinocytosis, endocytosis and exocytosis are the active transport processes.
  • Diffusion, Osmosis, and facilitated diffusion are the types of passive transport.

Comparison Video

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Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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