Synthica Energy, LLC announced it has entered the permitting phase of development for a new anaerobic digestion facility in the heart of Kentucky’s famed distillery region. The facility will focus on converting distillery byproducts (stillage) from Kentucky’s growing bourbon industry into Renewable Natural Gas (RNG).
Synthica’s facility is being developed on a 40-acre industrial property at the intersection of South Preston Highway and I-65 in the City of Lebanon Junction, Kentucky, approximately 30 miles south of Louisville. The project is expected to be completed in late 2024 and will process approximately 200,000 tons of bourbon stillage and food waste from producers across the region. The facility will use Synthica’s “Urban Friendly Digestion” technology while diverting food waste that otherwise takes up space in landfills and releases greenhouse methane into the atmosphere.
One of the largest food waste anaerobic digesters in the U.S., Synthica’s facility will generate carbon-negative RNG, which will help consumers reach their net carbon reduction goals. Recently, analysts have predicted a 45-fold increase in U.S. demand for RNG over the next two decades.
“Bourbon distilleries in Kentucky have ambitious growth goals, with over $5 billion in expansion currently underway,” said Sam Schutte, Synthica CEO. “However, existing outlets for distillery byproducts – which are sometimes produced at a 20-to-1 ratio to bourbon output – are inconvenient, seasonal, and face competition from the growth in ethanol, biodiesel, and other animal feed-generating industries. Without large-scale, affordable outlets for these byproducts, the growth of Kentucky distilleries will be stunted. As the largest AD facility in the state of Kentucky, Synthica’s facility will help relieve this pressure and allow for faster growth and more bourbon production. As fans of bourbon, we can all agree this is a good thing.”
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