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CSR produces ethanol (ethyl alcohol) by fermenting molasses which is a by-product of sugar fermentation.


Yarraville Distillery Cooling Tower Replacement


265 Whitehall St, Yarraville VIC, 3013


CSR is one of three major Australian producers of ethanol products. It is also a significant supplier to the food, beverage and industrial markets as well as the growing renewable fuel market in Australia.

Water Use:

The Yarraville Distillery uses water in its plate and tube heat exchangers and condensers to cool ethanol vapours leaving the distillation columns. The site contains nine distillation columns and approximately 90 percent of all water on site is used in heat exchangers and condensers. The effluent leaving the base of two of the distillation columns is predominantly water. In 2007, CSR Ethanol investigated reuse options for the effluent in order to reduce water usage onsite and reduce the volume of trade waste discharged.


The company decided to redirect the effluent from the distillation columns into the main process cooling towers for use as make-up water. This compensates for the losses of water through evaporation.

However, it was found that the cooling towers did not have the capacity to handle larger flowrates. As a result and because of the inefficiencies of the cooling towers, CSR Ethanol opted to replace its cooling towers. The new cooling towers were commissioned in June 2008.


Overall site drinking water use decrease with installation of new cooling towers: 13% (approximately 18ML per annum) based on a decrease in make-up water of 6kL/hr whilst running the Barbet distillation column, and 1.6kL/hr when not running the Barbet distillation column, a reduction in make-up water use on cooling towers with new setup: 93%, a reduction in amount of trade waste discharged from site after installation of new towers: 43% (approximately 9ML per annum) and energy reduction achieved with the use of variable speed drives on fan motors to vary fan speed based on cooling water temperature.

Total Project Cost: