Anaerobic fermentation was relatively difficult to optimize due to lack of monitoring parameters. In this paper, a new method was reported using extracellular oxidoreduction potential (ORP) to monitor 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD) biosynthesis process by Klebsiella pneumoniae. In batch fermentation, cell growth, 1,3-propanediol production and by-products distribution were studied at four different ORP levels: 10, -140, -190 and -240 mV. From the results, the ORP level of -190 mV was preferable, which resulted in fast cell growth and high 1,3-propanediol concentration. The NAD+/NADH ratio was determined at different ORP levels, and a critical NAD+/NADH ratio of 4 was defined to divide fermentation environments into two categories: relatively oxidative environment (NAD+/ NADH>4) and relatively reductive environment (NAD+/ NADH<4). The former was correlative with high 1,3-propanediol productivity and high specific growth rate. The mechanism of ORP regulation was discussed. It is suggested that ORP regulation of fermentation might be due to its influence on the ratio of NAD+/NADH, which determined metabolic flux. Furthermore, a batch fermentation of modulating ORP following a profile in different levels corresponding to different fermentation stage was tested. The 1,3-PD concentration was 22.3% higher than that of constant ORP fermentation at -190 mV. Therefore, ORP is a valuable parameter to monitor and control anaerobic fermentation production.