The Effects of Sucrose Concentration on Ethanol Production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Caitlin Brooks, Blake Coday, Inez Couch, Allison Wells


Saccharomyces cerevisiae, commonly referred to as baker’s yeast, is used in various ways in industry such as the in baked goods, alcoholic beverages, industrial ethanol, etc. Baker’s yeast, a eukaryotic organism, undergoes a process called fermentation that yields a product of ethanol. In this experiment we tested the effects of sucrose, a sugar, concentration on ethanol production. We made a growth media containing yeast and placed it in a respiration chamber.  In the respiration chamber an ethanol sensor helped record the ethanol concentrations. We predicted that the yeast will grow the best and yield higher amounts of ethanol in the higher concentrations of sucrose, because the more sucrose the higher the rate of fermentation that occurs which in turn produces more ethanol.  Our results showed the higher the concentration of sucrose, the higher the ethanol production, with 5% sucrose yielding the highest ethanol production.  This information could be beneficial to the efficiency and cost of production of ethanol that is used in numerous industries.

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