January 9, 2013

Qteros back from the ashes

Remember cellulosic ethanol developer Qteros (formerly Sun Ethanol), which shuttered its operations last year in April, and auctioned off its pilot biofuels manufacturing facility in Chicopee, Massachusetts?

The company's technology called Q Microbe developed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst was touted as a very efficient ethanol-producing organism using biomass feedstock. Unfortunately, Qteros was one of the several other advanced biofuel and traditional biofuel players that were hit by adverse biofuel market conditions last year.

Late last month, three of Sun Ethanol's original founders announced the revival of Qteros as the new CEO Stephan Rogers, who formerly served as Sun Ethanol's chief operating officer and assisted in raising $35m for that earlier startup, have acquired Qteros' intellectual property assets, microbial strains developed over the past five years, and research data related to the assets.

The new Qteros plans to pursue a less capital-intensive business model through partnership with companies that have deep experience in microbial research to jump-start the business, and further on, to license its technology to customers instead of building its own plants.

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