Finding efficient media for biobutanol production through acetone-butanol-ethanol fermentation

Princeton High School
Princeton, New Jersey
DOI: 10.18258/14316
Raised of $500 Goal
Funded on 11/14/19
Successfully Funded
  • $528
  • 105%
  • Funded
    on 11/14/19



To build the bioreactor, I will follow my included diagram. For the nutrient medium, I will use Carolina Biological's recommended medium for each species. The reactor will be operated as a batch, where each day product will be removed and more medium will be added at a specific time each day. To analyze the amount of butanol in the product, a spectrophotometer will be used to measure the concentration of fuel in the solution removed from the reactor.

The reactor will be run for six week-long trials total, one for each medium tested with C. acetobutyliscum and each tested with C. beijerinckii. For each of the five school days in the week, the reactor will be measured and analyzed.


Building the bioreactor will be the main challenge, because bacteria are sometimes difficult to grow and require special conditions. Also, learning to correctly measure the concentration of ethanol in my product may also be difficult. Carefully following directions for both culturing my bacteria and using a spectrophotometer should eliminate both of these difficulties.

Pre Analysis Plan

I plan to simply average the amount of fuel collected each day from the bioreactor, and run a Chi-squared test to determine if the values between media are statistically different. If a specific medium is found to be the best, I will look into why by doing more research on the chemical structures of each medium.


This project has not yet shared any protocols.