The story of Qteros began in 1996 with a walk near the Quabbin Reservoir in Western Massachusetts. University of Massachusetts microbiologist Dr. Susan Leschine and her lab assistant, Tom Warnick, were looking for a microbe that breaks down plant waste, but they found something far more noteworthy. The microscopic organism they sampled from the mud and later named Clostridium phytofermentans, was isolated and recognized as a novel life form.
Known today as Q Microbe, this tiny organism has an enormous appetite for all types of cellulose and the ability to convert that cellulose directly into ethanol. What the scientists found in a spoonful of dirt has been referred to by the director of the National Renewable Energy Lab as the Holy Grail of cellulosic ethanol.
Qteros has worked with this remarkable microbe to develop and commercialize a pioneering, clean fuel technology that comes from the earth. By overcoming the recalcitrance of cellulose to release the sugars deep within the plant cell wall, the Q Microbe does today what other researchers hope to do sometime in the next decade. The company’s proprietary Complete Cellulosic Conversion (C3) process simplifies and dramatically improves the economics of the equation.
Qteros technology is impressively versatile. It breaks down and ferments many types of non-food plant and tree waste in an ethanol-producing process that doesn’t compete with the food industry. It reduces the conventional two-step conversion process to one step, saving time, money, and energy. In addition, our patented Q Microbe is naturally occurring, and the process is sustainable and very close to carbon neutral.