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Difference Between Aerobic Respiration and Fermentation

Aerobic Respiration Vs Fermentation

Respiration is actually a concept much talked about in Biochemistry. It is how living things manage to survive and that is through respiration. Otherwise known as oxidative metabolism, respiration is how the individual cells in the body convert the biochemical nutrients into usable energy forms such as ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is actually the technical term for the body’s energy.

Respiration has two kinds. One is aerobic, involving oxygen and the other is anaerobic or without the use of oxygen. In the same manner, there is also another phase called fermentation more or less the same as anaerobic but still somewhat different.

In the food processing aspect, fermentation has been closely linked to anaerobic respiration because most cases of fermentation do not include oxygen in the process like how grapes are fermented to make wine. Fermentation is technically defined as the conversion of sugar to ethanol (chemically speaking). In simpler terms it is transforming carbohydrates into alcohols.

One of the most striking differences though between fermentation and aerobic respiration is the end product. Fermentation process yields only 2 ATP while the other produces 38 ATP. This gives the impression that aerobic respiration is a more reliable way of harnessing biologic energy.

In another analysis, making ATP is much simple for aerobic respiration because oxygen aids in generating ATP for an indefinite period of time. But in fermentation, ATP is made via electron transport chain and not oxygen and is also transpires for a shorter timeframe only. This makes aerobic respiration approximately 19 times more efficient than fermentation or anaerobic respiration.

There’s only 2 ATP produced in fermentation because the rest of the energy is actually combined with the waste materials produced after the fermentation process. As the waste material, ethanol (an alcohol) is obviously an energy resource for petrol gasoline.

Moreover, there are many products of fermentation. If the process occurs in the skeletal muscles, the end result is lactic acid this calling it lactic acid fermentation. This event is pretty ordinary when you overstrain your muscles too much during physical exertion like strenuous exercises. The muscles will actually get deprived of oxygen which leads to anaerobic respiration creating the lactic acid. This acid is what causes muscle cramping. For yeasts, the end result is ethanol hence calling it ethanol or alcoholic fermentation.

1. In cellular respiration, aerobic respiration yields 38 ATP while fermentation yields only 2.

2. In food processing, fermentation is usually an anaerobic type of respiration that converts sugars into alcohol without the involvement of oxygen.

3. Aerobic respiration is a biologic process that involves oxygen.


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