How Changing Concentration of Salt Affects the Ethanol Production with Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Faith Shirley, Kelbi Turner, Paige Perry, Josh Watts, Xi Wen


Studying yeast is beneficial because it is easy to manipulate, grows quickly, and controls cell division in a similar way to humans. Yeast can be manipulated in many ways and compared to other biological studies. Our lab group performed an experiment to test whether or not salt and sucrose mixed with Baker’s yeast, decreases the amount of ethanol produced, as opposed to just sucrose mixed with yeast. Our hypothesis is that when sucrose and salt are mixed with yeast we believe that salt will decrease the amount of ethanol produced compared to the amount of ethanol produced by sucrose when mixed with yeast. This hypothesis is supported by a previous study, claiming salt is a key inhibitor for ethanol. In our experiment we measured the amount of ethanol produced by three different mixtures, one mixture of sucrose, yeast and water, one with sucrose, yeast, water and 2% salt and one with sucrose, yeast, water and 4% salt. Five trials were run for each mixture to get the most accurate results. Those results concluded that our hypothesis was not supported. Overall, as the salt concentration increased, the amount of ethanol increased as well.

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