With a microwave oven and an EssenEx™-100 oil distillation kit, you can extract your own essential oils in 6 to 8 min. The most popular model by far is the $180 complete lab kit, it pays for itself quickly considering the cost of oils. It’s a smart investment for entrepreneurs who make soaps, creams and other products, and growers of crops such as lavender and mint can use the extractor to do their own lab work to determine optimum harvest times.
“Initially we created this for the home market, for do-it-yourselfers who grow small amounts of essential oil containing plants,” says Bill Dean, one of the inventors. “As we started demonstrating our product, we found people with small acreages were able to assess the value of their crops by quickly extracting small samples for analysis.”
The kit includes molds to freeze ice cores, which condenses the vapors produced when the plant material is in the microwave. The oil/water mix collects in a shielded beaker inside the extraction unit. When removed from the microwave, the oil containing liquid is poured into a separator flask to separate the oil and water. Processing 1/8 to ¼ lbs. of plant material at a time can yield up to 3.5 grams of high-quality pure oil.
Most standard microwave ovens work as long as they are big enough to hold the 7 by 7-in. extractor unit and a mug of water that is also used in the process.
The EssenEx™-100 is the result of years of research by Bill and Dave and students of Oregon State University. The idea came from Dr. Dave Hackleman, (Co-Founder with Dean) who was doing research for extracting oil for mint growers. Using large, commercial microwave units for the process reduced emissions and extracted the oil very quickly. That led to working with standard microwave ovens and figuring out how to create a condenser that worked inside the oven.
Since first published in Farm Show, kits have been shipped throughout the USA and 42 countries!
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, OilExTech, 1110 NE Circle Blvd, Corvallis, OR 97330 (ph. 541-602-6410; [email protected]; www.oilextech.com).