Advantages of trioxane
Trioxane acts as an ideal C1-fermentation feedstock, which can be used just like sugar in an existing industrial-scale fermentation lay-out. A switch from sugar to trioxane and vice versa can easily be made (feedstock flexibility).
Trioxane is available as a clean stream for fermentations, which is very relevant in view of downstream processing of bioproducts.
As trioxane is derived from methanol, an external expert opinion was obtained for the competing utilization of methanol as single feedstock. In the report to FSU, it is stated: “in many cases, methanol is not a suitable feedstock for large-scale fermentation processes. Key to this conclusion is problems with massive oxygen transfer preventing high product titres in the fermentation broth, inherently resulting in poor economics”.
The massive oxygen requirements in methanol as single feedstock fermentations will be circumvented in processes based on methanol/trioxane or trioxane as single feedstock. FSU has calculated that, as compared to methanol only, oxygen requirements are restricted while yields (product per substrate) are similar.