Difference between Respiration and Fermentation

Main Difference

Respiration and fermentation are two important terminologies in biological science that have different meanings and way of acting. The main difference between respiration and fermentation is that respiration generates more ATP as compare to fermentation and that respiration uses Oxygen that is no used by fermentation.



respirationRespiration means the travelling of oxygen from the outside air to cells within tissues and the expulsion of carbon dioxide in the revers direction. It is totally reverse of respiration that refers to cellular respiration. Unlike cellular respiration, physiologic respiration deals with the bulk flow and transport of metabolites between the organism and the external environment. Breathing is one of the important part of physiologic respiration. When human beings take breathe, respiration occurs in the lungs (respiratory organs). The process of supplying oxygen in the body via lungs is known as inhalation and the passage of air out of lungs to emit carbon dioxide is called exhalation.  There are many ways to classify the respiration by species, by mechanism, by experiments, by intensive care and emergency medicine, and by other medical topic like respiratory theory, breathing gases, hypoxia, gas embolism, HPNS, salt water aspiration syndrome, etc.



fermentationFermentation stands for a metabolic process that transforms sugar into acids, gases or alcohol. It mainly happens in bacteria and yeast, but also in oxygen-starved muscle cells, as appeared in the case of lactic acid fermentation. Fermentation also stands for the huge growth of microorganisms on a growth medium, to produce a specific chemical product. Louis Pasteur is considered as the first microbiologist who researched most into fermentation and its microbial causes. The science of fermentation is denote as zymology. Unlike respiration, it take place without oxygen and becomes the cell’s main source of ATP energy. It transforms the NADH (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) and pyruvate acid generates in the glycolysis step into NAD+ and multiple small molecules depending on the type of fermentation. Fermentation does not uses oxygen and glucose and also doesn’t stores energy.

Key Differences

  • Respiration generates more ATP normally 34 ATP while ATP produced by fermentation is 2 ATP that is many time less as compare to ATP produces by respiration.
  • Respiration (cellular) is aerobic while fermentation is anaerobic.
  • Oxygen is used in respiration while it is not used in fermentation. In fact, fermentation occurs due to absence of oxygen. Respiration involves the usage of enzymes such as glucose.
  • Cellular respiration is more efficient tin in producing ATP as compare to fermentation.
  • Both begin in the cytoplasm but cell respiration continues in mitochondria while fermentation doesn’t utilize doesn’t utilize the mitochondria.

Video Explanation