An innovative solution to minimisation of ethanol loss

In response to an industry wide issue relating to evaporative ethanol loss, Allen Associates put their creative skills to the test to design, develop and build a unique solution to the problem.


The Project

In the Scotch whisky industry, evaporative ethanol loss through vents can have a significant effect on distillery yield and profit. With the increasingly common use of heat recovery systems for the pre-heating of still charge there comes an increased risk of evaporative loss during charge of wash and spirit stills due to high charge temperatures.

Allen Associates recognised this risk as well as the risk of loss through the vents of washbacks and tanks and decided that a minimisation strategy could be extremely beneficial.

Passion and enthusiasm for new technological solutions to improve yield and profit drove Allen Associates to design, develop and build a product called the Iceberg vent cooler. The product is a condenser which can be fitted onto the vent line of stills, washbacks and tanks alike and condenses escaping ethanol vapour for return to the vessel as condensate.

The Iceberg vent cooler is a durable product and accommodates easy removal for maintenance and cleaning. The internal copper coil within the unit creates a highly efficient product and good heat exchange between vent vapour and cooling medium.

Not only applicable to the Scotch whisky industry but to any sector which experiences evaporative loss of product through vents, the Iceberg is a new and innovative technological solution to the issue of evaporative loss with numerous applications and promising performances so far.

ice-berg install



Estimates and trials have suggested that the cooler could recover as much as 4,200 litres of alcohol per year from a wash still charge of approximately 15,000 litres. This is an extremely significant recovery.

Expected recoveries obtained by use of the Iceberg are dependent on various factors and can be estimated for particular conditions by use of a model developed by Allen Associates for this purpose.

Through the development of the Iceberg vent cooler, Allen Associates are not only providing quality design and management services but developing innovative solutions to existing issues within the food and drinks industry.