Cellulosic Ethanol Company SunEthanol Raises $25 Million, Changes Name to Qteros
19 November 2008
SunEthanol, the developer of consolidated bio-processing (CBP) technology based on the “Q Microbe” (Clostridium phytofermentans) (earlier post), has raised $25 million in Series B financing from a consortium including BP and Soros Fund Management LLC, and is changing its name effective immediately to Qteros. The new name refers to its Q Microbe technology.
|Qteros cellulosic ethanol cost projections. Click to enlarge.|
Leading the Series B financing is new investor Venrock, with previous investor Battery Ventures. Also participating are Soros Fund Management LLC and BP, both new, and Series A investors Long River Ventures and Camros Capital.
Dr. Susan Leschine, Qteros’ Chief Scientist and co-founder who first collected a sample of the Q Microbe near the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts, said that Qteros is discovering ever-more productive strains of the microbe.
Led by Dr. Sarad Parekh, Vice President of R&D, the Qteros lab has achieved a more than 15-fold increase in converting cellulosic plant material to ethanol with its C3 (Complete Cellulosic Conversion) platform.
The company projects that it will be able to produce cellulosic ethanol from corn stover at a cost of $1.05 per gallon once the licensed plants are in full production sometime in 2010. As Qteros gains scale-up knowledge from the operation of pilot and demonstration plants, its expect to further reduce costs.
Yet another entry into the $1.00/gallon ethanol arena. This is good news (though not here). The lower the cost of ethanol the better it competes with gasoline - which helps break the stranglehold petroleum monopoly even when oil prices dip below $50.00/bbl.
While converting to renewable, domestic made ethanol, the consumption of liquid fuel should continue to drop. With 30-40 mile AER PHEVs coming to the floor shortly the demand for gasoline begins a precipitous drop.
Qteros looks like they have a nice fit with a sugar producer in either N or S America.
Posted by: sulleny | 19 November 2008 at 11:16 AM
A large british chemical company found a microbe on a Cricket pitch and tried to make a business out of it. The microbe ate methanol that was made from North Sea gas. The microbes actually liked methane as well, but a mixture or air and methane is called coal damp which had led to the demise of miners and mines. The microbes were harvested and called Pruteen and were sold mostly to Italy for cattle feed. The British were too busy feeding sheeps brains to their cattle to buy this prion free cattle feed protein supliment. The British knew that melamine would not work. The company could not make a financial go of the business of turning fuel into food.
Quorn is made in the UK by yeasts or mushroom related organisms fed some organic foods; it has been an animal replacement protein used instead of soy protein for human meat substitutes. It is the closest the British have come to industrial scale production of truffles.
A careful search of the internet might still find that the Norwegian state oil company built a factory for producing animal feeds from North Sea gas.
A US oil company was testing a microbe found munching away at crude oil in order to expand the market for oil by producing food.
Oil, gas, coal, turf(peat), uranium, thorium and oilshale are known working sources of energy that are cheaper than food if not subject to government limitations combined with speculation.
The amount of waste plant materials is not even a large fraction of the present use of motive fuels; perhaps the microbes can be trained to eat coal or hydrogen from CANDU reactors. ..HG..
Posted by: Henry Gibson | 19 November 2008 at 11:58 AM