A Grand Forks-based technology company has received a U.S. Department of Energy grant to to carry out work related to sustainable ethanol production.

D3MAX, located in an office suite in downtown Grand Forks, was awarded $499,988 to design a pilot plant to validate technology for first generation ethanol plants to produce ethanol from corn stover as sustainable aviation fuel. Corn stover is composed of the stalks, leaves and husks left over after harvesting has been carried out.

“Decarbonizing transportation, particularly planes and ships that are difficult to electrify, is an essential part of the path to a net-zero carbon future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These investments mobilize industries to join this effort, which will create new, good-paying jobs across the biofuels, chemical and agricultural supply chains, and boost economic activity in rural economies.”

The grant was announced in a Thursday, Sept. 9, news release from the office of Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.

On Thursday, the Department of Energy announced a total of $64.7 million in funding for projects to produce cost-effective, low-carbon biofuels. The grants are part of a push to decarbonize the nation’s aviation sector by 2050, and have been dubbed the “Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) Grand Challenge.”