Continuous monitoring of Ethanol in microdistilleries

Alcoholic spirits are created by the distillation of biologically produced alcohols derived from the fermented mash of different agricultural products such as grain, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane and potatoes. The distillation process involves heating the wash and vaporizing the alcohol, which is collected in a condenser and cooled. During this process, ethanol is produced and can build up if not properly ventilated.

Ethanol is a highly flammable liquid and when it makes contact with air it becomes a highly explosive vapour. To mitigate a potentially explosive safety hazard, a gas detection system should be installed to continuously monitor for ethanol build up and leaks in tanks, fermenters, stills and other processing equipment.

It only takes a spark to start a fire or cause an explosion, especially when flammable gases or vapours are present under the right conditions. Using an explosion proof gas detector will ensure the device contains and controls an explosion, should the gas detector’s electrical circuit become an ignition source.

Image: Typical Mircodistillery Monitoring System



  • Explosion proof ethanol gas detector should be used  for life safety and protection of property​
  • Ethanol is heavier than air and will accumulate in enclosed areas, low lying areas and downstream from the vapour source. The explosion proof gas detector should be installed near the most likely potential area of exposure, mounted at 6 in / 15 cm AFF
  • Controller can be configured to control the ventilation system, trigger strobe/horns and if necessary shut down the processing equipment


  • Ethanol (C2H6O)


Monitoring Ethanol in Distillery Areas


FCS Multi Channel Controller
cGas-SC Self Contained Controller
CXT2-A Explosion Proof Transmitter



To ensure life safety requirements are met, a fixed gas detection system in a distillery should also include portable gas monitors. Be sure to follow local confined entry requirements and regulations as well.