Qteros is a biotechnology and energy company developing processing technologies for clean transportation fuels that is headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts and was founded in 2005 by Stephen Rogers.
The companies is converting biomass using a microbe, Clostridium phytofermentans, called Q Microbe that has the ability to convert recalcitrant polysaccharides (such as those found in plant and tree residues) into sugar and fermenting sugar into fuel-grade ethanol. Dr.Susan Leschine, a microbiologist from the University of Massachusetts, and her lab assistant, Tom Warnick, discovered the anaerobic microbe Qteros is using for their cellulosic ethanol productions in 1996.
The Q Microbe is capable of fermenting polymeric sugar that result in decreased costs associated with pretreatment associated with ethanol production. The company claims the Q Microbe has 105 different genes producing the enzymes for degrading biomass, and each enzyme is regulated based on the growth medium given to Q Microbe.
According to the companies website, the Q Microbe has the following properties:
- It has a voracious appetite for plant polysaccharides.
- It directly converts all fermentable components of biomass (cellulose, xylan, pectin, and starch) to ethanol, its primary byproduct.It ferments unusually high concentrations of cellulose from a broad range of feedstocks.
- Its active metabolic pathways lead to an efficient delivery of ethanol.
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