Q microbe process patented

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to Qteros Inc. and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, describing the creation of products such as biofuels through the fermentation of biomass by the Q microbe, a naturally occurring anaerobic microorganism.

UMass Amherst microbiology professor Susan Leschine and her research associate Thomas Warnick discovered the microorganism in the soil near a Massachusetts reservoir and were surprised to find that it condenses the enzymatic hydrolysis and fermenting processes into one step. Qteros is the exclusive licensee of the patent, titled "Systems and Methods for Producing Biofuels and Related Materials," and has demonstrated that its process offers ethanol producers significant cost reductions.