Synthica Energy’s Kentucky AD facility enters permitting phase

Synthica Energy has entered the permitting phase for a new anaerobic digestion (AD) facility development in Kentucky, US.

The facility in the heart of Kentucky’s distillery region will focus on converting distillery by-products (stillage) from the state’s growing bourbon industry into RNG. 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 harmful methane emissions.

As one of the largest food waste AD plants in the US, Synthica’s facility will generate carbon-negative RNG, which will help consumers reach their net carbon reduction goals.

“Bourbon distilleries in Kentucky have ambitious growth goals, with over $5 billion (€4.6 billion) in expansion currently underway,” said Sam Schutte, Synthica’s CEO.

“However, existing outlets for distillery by-products, 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 by-products, 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.”

In August 2021, Synthica announced it had entered into a partnership to develop RNG projects in Ohio and Kentucky with UGI Energy Services, a division of UGI Corporation. The partnership’s first AD project is being developed in the Cincinnati region.

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