CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $5 million to multiple Wyoming-based research initiatives to advance alternative uses for coal beyond energy generation.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the federal government selected Ramaco Carbon, a coal technology company in Sheridan, for four research and development grants to delve deeper into the material science behind coal. The research grants come at a time when depressed demand for coal from the electricity generation sector becomes a new normal.

Ramaco will partner with two other organizations to look into using coal for products like carbon fiber, a hearty material used to build aircraft, cars and more.

Ramaco also received a federal Energy Department grant about a year ago.