Grand Forks company D3MAX and the ethanol industry could help corn become the future of aviation fuel

Mark Yancey, chief technology officer of D3MAX who previously retired from BBI International in 2020, said the technology used by D3MAX has been around for more than a decade.

“BBI created D3MAX in 2015 specifically for the purpose of commercializing the technology that my consulting group had developed in 2008 and 2009,” Yancey said. “A patent was issued for that technology in 2012. So, a lot of years went by.”

D3MAX creates cellulosic ethanol using “bolt-on” technology — more or less meaning it is a one-size-fits-most process which, according to the company, can be implemented at approximately 190 corn dry mill ethanol plants in the United States.

The aviation industry could be headed for an increase in ethanol aviation fuel production as part of President Biden’s Sept. 9 announcement that his administration is partnering with the airline industry to reach the goal of replacing all jet fuel with sustainable alternatives by 2050, with the hopes of producing three billion gallons of sustainable fuel by 2030 as part of what is being called the ‘Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) Grand Challenge.’ Aviation currently makes up as much as 4% of the total greenhouse gas emissions by the United States — the most of any means of transportation.