Corn steep liquor (CSL) obtained from a commercial starch manufacturing process was analyzed and tested as a complex nutrient source for ABE (acetone, butanol, and ethanol) production by Clostridium acetobutylicum PJC4BK_AdhE1. CSL contained a wealth of trace elements and nitrogenous components, proteins and amino acids. ABE production increased the content of CSL was raised up to 6% (v/v) in medium and then decreased at higher contents. In 6% CSL-containing medium, C. acetobutylicum PJC4BK_AdhE1 produced 21.4 g/L of ABE with a yield of 0.41 g/g in 18 h of fermentation. Although the final titer of ABE was similar in CSL containing media and Clostridial Growth Medium (CGM, containing yeast extract and asparagines as complex nutrients), the yield and productivity of ABE in 6% CSL-containing medium were found to be higher than 32 and 26%, respectively.