The respiratory quotient (RQ) was found to be a suitable control parameter for optimum oxygen supply for the production of 2,3-butanediol + acetoin under microaerobic conditions. In laboratory scale continuous cultures optimum production of 2,3-butanediol + acetoin was obtained at an RQ value between 4.0 to 4.5. This agreed well with optimum RQ value (4.0) stoichiometrically derived from the bioreactions involved. In fed-batch cultures product concentrations as high as 102.9 g/L (96.0 g/L butanediol + 6.9 g/L acetoin) can be achieved within 32 h cultivation with an RQ control algorithm for oxygen supply. Under similar conditions only 85.7 g/L product (77.6 g/L butanediol + 8.1 g/L acetoin) was obtained with control of constant oxygen supply rate throughout the cultivation.In pilot scale batch cultures under identical oxygen supply rate the achievable RQ value was found to be strongly influenced by the reactor type and scale. The initial oxygen supply rate influenced the achievable RQ as well. However, in all the reactors studied the specific product formation rate of cells in the exponential growth phase was only a function of RQ. The same optimum RQ value as found in continuous cultures was obtained. ... mehrIt was thus concluded that RQ can be used as a control parameter for optimum production of 2,3-butanediol + acetoin in both laboratory and pilot plant scale reactors.