This paper deals with the production of 2,3- butanediol by K. oxytoca in batch cultures. The effect of urea on various kinetic parameters was studied by replacing the ammonium salts in the medium with the corresponding nitrogen equivalent in the form of urea. The specific growth rate and the product yield in an unacclimatised batch culture were found to be 0.29 h-1 and 0.26 g·g-1 respectively. The acclimatised batch cultures on the other hand behaved similar to that grown using the original medium with a specific growth rate of 0.66 h-1 and the product yield of 0.345 g·g-1. However the cultures were unable to grow when urea was used both as the carbon and nitrogen source. © 1995 Springer-Verlag.