Cellular Respiration vs Fermentation: Difference and Comparison

It is vital for every living organism to derive and make use of energy for survival. This energy is obtained by breaking down sugars and then hoarding them in ATP.

There are two major processes that lead to the formation of ATP. These include cellular respiration and fermentation.

Key Takeaways

  1. Cellular respiration is an aerobic process that produces energy through the breakdown of glucose, while fermentation is an anaerobic process that generates energy in the absence of oxygen.
  2. Cellular respiration yields more ATP per glucose molecule than fermentation, making it a more efficient energy production method.
  3. Both processes occur in living organisms to produce energy, but cellular respiration is prevalent in most organisms, while fermentation mainly occurs in microorganisms and muscle cells under oxygen-deficient conditions.

Cellular Respiration vs Fermentation

Cellular respiration is a process that involves glucose turning into chemical energy by oxidization and then being converted into ATPs, with ethanol and lactic acid as by-products. Fermentation is the process in which ATPs are produced in living beings, only in microorganisms like yeast.

Cellular Respiration vs Fermentation

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Cellular respiration is a survival process that takes place inside the cells of living organisms. Through its action, chemical energy derived from nutrients and oxygen molecules is converted into ATP.

This means that only a little ATP is created from chemical energy along with a larger amount of waste products. This waste includes lactic acid and ethanol.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCellular RespirationFermentation
OxidizationCellular respiration fully oxidizes glucose to produce ATP.Fermentation only oxidizes glucose partially, resulting in larger waste production.
OccurrenceCellular respiration occurs in the cytoplasm as well as mitochondria.Fermentation occurs only in the cytoplasm.
ProductionThrough cellular respiration, around 36 ATPs are produced.The process of fermentation only produces 2 ATPs.
WaterAs a result of cellular respiration, water is produced as a by-product along with ATPs.No water is produced during the process of fermentation in the cells.
TypesCellular respiration is of two types – Aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration.The process of fermentation can take place in two ways – Ethanol fermentation and lactic acid fermentation.
OrganismCellular respiration takes place in higher organisms.Fermentation takes place in microorganisms such as yeast.

What is Cellular Respiration?

Cellular respiration is the process through which glucose is oxidized to form chemical energy, which is then converted into ATPs. Along with ATPs, lactic acid and ethanol are discharged as by-products.

Generally, plant and animal cells use nutrients such as sugar, amino acids, and fatty acids in the process of cellular respiration. Meanwhile, oxygen (O2) is most used as the oxidizing agent that leads to the discharge of chemical energy.

Cellular respiration is of two types – Aerobic respiration and Anaerobic respiration. Aerobic respiration is the process in which oxygen plays a vital role in creating ATPs.

cellular respiration

What is Fermentation?

Fermentation is another process by which ATPs are produced in living beings. However, this process takes place only in microorganisms such as yeast.

The process of fermentation takes place when there is a lack of oxygen intake in the cell. In such a case, pyruvic acid is not metabolized by cellular respiration but by fermentation.

There are two types of fermentation processes that take place in microorganisms. These include ethanol fermentation and lactic acid fermentation. Fermentation oxidizes NADH to convert it into NAD+, which is then reused in glycolysis.

alcohol fermentation

Main Differences Between Cellular Respiration and Fermentation

  1. Cellular respiration takes place in higher organisms, while fermentation takes place only in microorganisms such as yeast.
  2. Oxygen is crucial in the process of cellular respiration, whereas fermentation does not require oxygen.
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/tea.3660310605
  2. https://academic.oup.com/plphys/article-abstract/79/3/879/6081495

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