Hold the BS: The Effect of Baking Soda on the Ethanol Production of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Dylan Kemp, Raven Lewis, Brandon Gillespie, Nichole Jones


            Saccharomyces cerevisiae has the ability to produce CO2 and ethanol through biological processes. These products are important in the baking and brewing process, and finding what materials can increase the output of these products is the goal of this study. We hypothesized that by adding baking soda to the growth media of a yeast culture, the amount of ethanol produced would increase due to the increase in CO2 from the baking soda. After multiple trials of measuring ethanol production in yeast cultures with varying concentrations of baking soda, we found that higher levels of baking soda actually resulted in less ethanol being produced. We concluded this was due to a combination of reasons, primarily the rise in pH from the baking soda and rapid introduction of the fermentation stage before proper respiration and reproduction can be achieved by the yeast culture.

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