The physiology of Clostridium sporogenes was investigated in defined, minimal media. In batch culture, the major end products of glucose dissimilation were acetate, ethanol and formate. When L-proline was present as an electron acceptor, acetate production was strongly enhanced at the expense of ethanol. As judged by assay of the relevant enzymes, glucose was metabolized via the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway. The growth energetics of Cl. sporogenes were investigated in glucose- or L-valine-limited chemostat cultures. In the former case, the addition of L-proline to the medium caused a significant increase in the molar growth yield (as calculated by extrapolation to infinite dilution rate). This finding adds weight to the view that the reduction of L-proline by Cl. sporogenes is coupled to the conservation of free energy.