The optimum conditions (pH and initial sugar concentration) of fermentation for the production of ethanol by 4 strains ofZymomonas mobilis (ATCC 10988, ATCC 12526, NRRL B 4286 and IFO 13756) were studied. An initial sugar concentration of 15 % (w/v) at pH 7.0 was found to be optimal for the first two strains and 20 % (w/v) initial sugar at pH 7.0 was found to be optimal for the last two strains. The fermentation pattern of these strains on synthetic medium, cane juice and molasses were compared. Strain NRRL B 4286 showed maximum ethanol production on synthetic medium while on cane juice ATCC 10988 and ATCC 12526 performed well. However, all the strains fermented molasses poorly.