Ethanol production from S. cerevisiae was studied experimentally in one- and two-stage plants, with and without biomass recirculation. The hydrogen sources were glucose and molasses. The experimental findings were used as a basis for mathematical models whose kinetic parameters were established by comparison with the experiments. In the fermentation processes with glucose as carbon and energy source, an activation kinetics of yeast extract was considered in addition to the limitations resulting from the substrate and the inhibition by the produced ethanol. The problem of biomass recirculation received particular attention. Lamellar separators in the form of a cated tube cluster are described as an alternative to conventional conical separator tanks. Biomass concentrations in the fermenter may amount to about 80 gTS/l. Satisfactory simulation of the plant behaviour is possible by combining the kinetic approaches for the fermenter with the mathematical models for the separator.