The performance of a tapered reactor for the continuous cultivation of bakers' yeast (SCP) from cane molasses has been compared with that of a conventional cylindrical reactor. It is found that the tapered reactor has less non-idealities (bypass and deadspace). Using the experimentally evaluated bypass and deadspace values, a model for predicting conversions of substrate (cane molasses), based on the RTD model proposed by Cholette and Cloutier has been developed. The experimental substrate conversions are found to match the model satisfactorily. © 1991 Springer-Verlag.