Fermentation Only Makes 2 ATP

(This Post Contains 2 Comics)
Fermentation is a process that makes 2 ATP.  This is not as productive as cellular respiration (36 ATP).  However, fermentation does have its unique advantage.  For example, it requires no oxygen and can release energy more quickly than cellular respiration.

20170707 Fermentation p1
(Click to Enlarge)

Also, fermentation is useful for making different types of food and drinks.  For example, its carbon dioxide is used to make bread “fluffy”, its alcohol is used to make wine, and its lactic acid is used to create sour flavors.
Note: Fermentation that makes alcohol is called “alcoholic fermentation”, while fermentation that makes lactic acid is called “lactic acid” fermentation.

20170707 Fermentation p2
(Click to Enlarge)

Muscles also use fermentation in emergency situations when energy is needed RIGHT AWAY (Remember?  Fermentation is faster than cellular respiration).  In other words, in casual situations, our muscles rely on cellular respiration for energy, but in crisis mode, our muscles use fermentation for a quick boost of energy.

Next Generation Science Standards:

MS-LS1-3.  Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.

MS-LS1-7.  Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism.

HS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.

HS-LS1-3.  Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis.

HS-LS1-6.  Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for how carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from sugar molecules may combine with other elements to form amino acids and/or other large carbon-based molecules.

HS-LS1-7.  Use a model to illustrate that cellular respiration is a chemical process whereby the bonds of food molecules and oxygen molecules are broken and the bonds in new compounds are formed resulting in a net transfer of energy.

HS-LS2-3.  Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.

HS-LS2-5.  Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.

What Science Does this Comic Teach?

Unit: Cell Biology

⇒Chapter: Respiration

⇒Topic: Fermentation

Additional Information


Ions are atoms or molecules which contain an electrical charge (could be + or -).  Ions are often used to make up a larger molecule or scattered throughout a liquid.


These are a special type of organelles responsible for using glucose to release energy for the cell.  For more information, see this comic post (will open a new tab): Mitochondria Definition


Lungs are a pair of organs that engaging in respiration (typically called “breathing”).  You can find more information on the importance of lungs in this post on the lungs’ importance:  http://owlcomics.com/index.php/2017/05/11/lungs/.  If you want to know what the lungs are made of, view this post: http://owlcomics.com/index.php/2017/05/06/alveoli/

Cellular Respiration

Cellular respiration is the process that supplies the cells (as well as a large organism like a human) with the energy necessary for survival.  We eat food and breathe air for the very purpose of gathering the necessary materials to keep cellular respiration going nonstop.  The process of cellular respiration is carried out by cells’ mitochondria.


They are the “ingredients” of a chemical reaction.  In a chemical reaction, reactants are used to produce “products”, which are the end results of a reaction.


Glucose is the simplest form of sugar and contains a lot of energy–think of the phrase “sugar-rush”.  Because it is “simple”, it can be easily absorbed into an organism’s body/cells to provide the organism with energy.



Questions?  Comments?

For any questions, comments, or requests, contact us.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here