Giving Ethanol Producers a Natural Advantage

A key advantage of Qteros’ Consolidated Bioprocessing (CBP) platform is the microorganism at its core: the Q Microbe®.

A natural biorefinery in itself, the Q microbe, Clostridium phytofermentans, is an anaerobic organism with a unique combination of natural characteristics that dramatically streamline the production of cellulosic ethanol.

Since the initial discovery of the Q Microbe, Qteros’ research and development team has applied advanced science and microbiology to better understand the organism’s natural processes, thereby allowing Qteros to optimize the organism’s metabolism and significantly improve ethanol yield and titer.

Qteros’ dramatic advances in the microbiology of the Q Microbe deliver substantial advantages at every stage of the production process and drive the low-cost production of cellulosic ethanol:


Digests a broad variety of feedstocks (including corn stover, cob, and fiber, sugarcane bagasse and switchgrass) allowing producers to use low-cost, locally-sourced feedstocks.


The Q Microbe naturally digests and ferments oligomeric sugars, thereby reducing the acid, pressure, energy, and engineering required for pretreatment, hence, simplifying engineering design and reducing costs.

Enzyme Production

Naturally produces virtually all the enzymes required to digest biomass into fermentable sugars, eliminating separate unit operations and minimizing the addition of expensive exogenous enzymes.


Efficiently co-ferments all five sugars present in biomass (C5 and C6 sugars), reducing unit operations and resource requirements, and dramatically increasing efficiency.

Ethanol Production

Produces ethanol in commercial yields as the primary product of fermentation. Because ethanol is a product of the Q Microbe’s natural metabolism, our process lowers capital and operating expenses due to higher ethanol titer rates.

The advantages of the Q Microbe improve the economics of ethanol production, making our platform ideally suited for large-scale production of cellulosic ethanol from a broad variety of non-food plant materials.

Biomass Pretreatment Enzyme Production Fermentation Ethanol
Q Microbe® Attribute
  • Digests a broad variety of non-food based feedstocks (i.e., corn stover, fiber, sugarcane bagasse, switchgrass)
  • Metabolism adjusts to feedstock
  • Efficiently ferments oligomeric sugars
  • Naturally produces virtually all of the enzymes required to digest biomass
  • Over 165 different genes for plant cell wall degradation
  • Co-ferments C5 and C6 sugars
  • Anaerobic fermentation
  • Ethanol is the primary natural product of the Q Microbe’s metabolism, at commercially-relevant yields
Value to Customer
  • Utilizes low-cost, non-food/feed raw materials
  • Maximizes geographic flexibility for site selection
  • Less acid
  • Lower pressure
  • Less energy
  • Minimizes C5 inhibitors
  • Less complex engineering and design criteria
  • 80% -100% reduction in exogenous enzymes required
  • Elimination of separate unit operations (hydrolysis, fermentation)
  • Fewer and streamlined unit operations
  • Less water
  • Less energy
  • Fewer FTEs
  • Less maintenance
  • Higher efficiency
  • Minimal risk of contamination
  • Lower CAPEX and OPEX due to higher rates, titers, yields, and fewer side products
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