Biofuel Leader Qteros Achieves Major Breakthrough in Performance of Its Q Microbe Process

July 27, 2009

Massachusetts-based biofuel company Qteros, whose breakthrough Q Microbe(TM) technology turns biomass into cellulosic ethanol, today announced at an industry conference in Montreal that it has achieved unprecedented laboratory results in the performance of its proprietary, game-changing technology known as "C3" (Complete Cellulosic Conversion).

For the past several months, Qteros has been achieving major breakthroughs in the performance and scalability of its unique microbial process for producing cellulosic ethanol. Company scientists have reconfirmed their results and today announced publicly that the Q Microbe(TM) process has demonstrated world-class ethanol outputs of 70 grams per liter (9% by volume) in a single-step process on an industrially pre-treated biomass feedstock.

These unprecedented yield results far surpass the 50 grams per liter considered to be the threshold for commercial production of cellulosic ethanol. Coupled with the previously observed bioconversion yields of greater than 90%, they make the Qteros method of producing ethanol more economical than any other process to date.

Dr. Sue Leschine, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst microbiologist who first discovered the Q Microbe(TM) near the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts, announced the breakthrough today at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing in Montreal, sponsored by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

"We knew from the beginning that the Q Microbe(TM) was an extraordinary microorganism," Leschine said. "These results confirm what we predicted: Qteros and the Q Microbe(TM) can make cellulosic ethanol a commercial reality."

"In the last year alone, the Qteros scale-up team led by Dr. Sarad Parekh has increased ethanol titers by a factor of five," said Qteros president and CEO Dr. William Frey. "We are now closer than ever to bringing clean, renewable cellulosic fuel to market at a price competitive with gasoline."

Although Qteros achieved these outstanding ethanol outputs with a non-genetically engineered strain of the Q Microbe(TM), the company expects to capture further improvements by taking advantage of on-going efforts in molecular genetics and strain development.

Qteros is a biotechnology company applying its discovery of the Q Microbe(TM) to produce clean transportation fuels at a price competitive with gasoline, using plant waste. Qteros has been funded by BP, Valero, Soros Quantum Fund, Battery Ventures, and Venrock, among others, to achieve a sustainable solution to the world's growing energy needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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