Why So Bitter? The Effect of Acidic pH Environments on CO2 Output of Yeast for Optimal Yeast Production

Rachel Williams, Jamye Ruzicka, Kelsie Shanks, Lynsey Stoneking, Kelsey Deal


Yeast is starting to be looked at as a potential biofuel. If yeast is to become the next major fuel source we will need a large amount of yeast in the most efficient way possible which means that researchers must determine the optimal conditions for yeast production. We were interested in determining if pH affects yeast growth and what pH would produce the most yeast. We decided to test the acidic pH range because we found a few studies that suggested that yeast grew better in acidic environments. We used vinegar to lower our pH and tested a pH of 4, a pH of 5.3, and a neutral pH of 7.5 as our control. We collected our data by recording CO2 ppm for 5 minutes and finding the slope of the line using the Logger Pro. We conducted two trials and found that the environment of 5.3 produced the most yeast. Future studies should use more reliable equipment and conduct more trials to find a more accurate trend.

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