Alcoholic Fermentation in Biology

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Alcoholic fermentation in biology is a lot longer process than a lot of people might realize. Find out about alcoholic fermentation in biology with help from an experienced chemistry professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Chemistry & Biology Concepts
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Robin Higgins and this is alcoholic fermentation in biology. Okay, so fermentation is a long process. It takes about a month and we're just going to go through the basics that we need to know and understand how it works. Alright, so what's really important is that first you have sugar and so this sugar is called glucose and it reacts with yeast and a bunch of biological materials and the important takeaway here is that it forms this chemical which is called pyruvate. So first we convert glucose into pyruvate. Once we have pyruvate this is the same structure, just drawn differently as right here and the first step is to have pyruvate get turned into this chemical called acetaldehyde and so once you have that here you can see that this pyruvate molecule had 1, 2, 3 carbons and this acetaldehyde only has one, two. That's because we've released carbon dioxide gas so the third carbon molecule, carbon atom turned into this carbon dioxide molecule and then once you have the acetaldehyde, it's a quick reduction step to get this molecule which is ethanol which is the whole point. So in summary, what you are basically doing during fermentation is taking sugar or glucose and reacting it to form ethanol and carbon dioxide and to do this you need yeast and a bunch of biological reagents. I am Robin Higgins and this is the chemistry of fermentation in alcohol.


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