Anaerobic digestion development company Synthica Energy has received the primary construction permit from the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection for an anaerobic digestion facility in Lebanon Junction, Kentucky.
According to the company, the facility will convert distillery and brewery byproducts into reliable energy without relying on biosolids or land application for disposal of high strength digestate. Sited near the intersection of I-65 and South Preston Highway, it will be the largest organics-to-energy facility in Kentucky, Synthica adds.
The company has established partnerships with food and beverage manufacturers in the state to secure the necessary feedstocks for the plant. These feedstocks are expected to generate approximately 650,000 MMBTU of carbon-negative renewable natural gas (RNG) annually, helping to reduce the region’s dependence on fossil natural gas.
The project is scheduled for completion in late 2024 and will process 400,000 tons of food waste per year, which would otherwise end up in landfills or local waterways, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
“The need for an anaerobic digestion facility capable of processing the complex nutrient load produced by Kentucky’s Bourbon industry - as well as food manufacturing industry - has been discussed state-wide for many years,” said Sam Schutte, CEO of Synthica. “While other biofuel developers have unsuccessfully attempted to solve this problem, Synthica’s pragmatic approach, combined with the backing of some of the strongest blue chip companies in the business, means our facility will be a reliable, dependable part of local infrastructure.”
Renewable natural gas is created by converting animal, vegetable and byproduct waste into biofuel using anaerobic digestion processes. The move helps cut methane emissions, which are considered by environmental experts to be multiple times more harmful than C02 as a greenhouse gas.