New Paraformaldehyde Technology

FSU has developed an entirely new technology in circumventing the negative methanol-associated excessive oxygen-requirements in fermentations.

Methanol is chemically partially oxidized to formaldehyde which in turn is polymerized into paraformaldehyde HO(CH2O)xH. These two standard production schemes result in a stable water-insoluble relatively cheap product.

In the fermenter, the paraformaldehyde is depolymerized in a controlled way to release monomeric formaldehyde, which is used as the actual feedstock on which methylotrophic organisms will grow. In this way avoiding the excessive oxygen requirement of methanol.

The release of monomeric formaldehyde from the polymer is conveniently controlled by pH and temperature.

FSU has succesfully tested the new approach by cultivating both a yeast and a bacterium at the expense of paraformaldehyde by controlling the release of formaldehyde.