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Microwave Kit Lets You Extract Essential Oils
With a microwave oven and an EssenEx-100 oil distillation kit, you can extract your own essential oils in 6 to 8 min. Starting at $125 for a basic home kit and $180 for a 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 product’s 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 a mold to freeze an ice core, which condenses the vapors produced when the plant material is in the microwave. The oil/water mix collects in a beaker inside the extraction unit. When removed from the microwave the oil containing liquid is poured into a separator flask to separate oil and water. Processing 1/8 to 1/4 lbs. of plant material at a time can yield up to 3.5 grams of high-quality 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 for Dean and students at Oregon State University. The idea came from research for extracting oil for mint growers in the region. Using large, expensive 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.
  After several years, hundreds of experiments and filing for a U.S. and international patent, Dean and his business partners launched the EssenEx-100 kit in 2012.
  “Essential oils are a huge industry around the world, with different plants in different places,” Dean says. “In Florida, for example, they have citrus crops, and oil can be distilled from the zest.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Oil Ex Tech, 39125 Military Rd., Monmouth, Ore. 97361 (ph 541 602-6410; info@oilextech.com; www.oilextech.com).

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #6