How does it work?
The EssenEx uses an ice core you freeze with a special mold in
your freezer to condense the vapors produced when the plant material is
place in the microwave. It is also specially designed to protect the
condensate from overheating, protecting the overall quality of your oil.
Microwave extraction is similar to steam distillation in the fact that
they both use steam to extract the essential oils. The difference is the
EssenEx utilizes the water in the plant material to create the steam
instead of adding additional steam created from a fuel or electric
What plants have extractable Oils?
Fresh works best!
Citrus Peel (Just the Zest)
*These are just the plant materials we have tested. Many more are out
there for us to explore!
Isn’t microwave radiation bad?
Some people are turned off by the word “radiation” linking it
to dangerous materials or hazardous energy. All visible light we can
see, radio waves, wifi, and the sun are all forms of radiation that we
live our lives without giving second thought. Radiation just refers to
how the energy is transferred from one place to another; similar to
convection and conduction however it does not require materials to be in
contact or air to be in contact with the heating element. Radiation
refers to energy transfer through the air or vacuum of space without
losing energy until it “hits” a specific materiel that can absorb the
energy (in this case it is the water molecules).
Won’t the microwave radiation damage the oil?
The microwave radiation specifically targets the water
molecules in the plant material. When they “hit” the water molecules
they cause them to spin faster and this causes the water to heat. This
does not change the water in any way except that it will start to boil
and turn into steam when it reaches a high enough temperature (the same
as on your stove). The microwave energy does not target the oil; only
the steam will heat the oil. The way our system is designed the oil
will be heated less than traditional steam distillation resulting in
less heat damage to the oil and a higher quality final product!
How is the product sustainable?
Microwave extraction is proven to be more efficient and can
yield higher oil extracts than conventional steam distillation. This
process allows for scientists to extract oil in small batches rather
than running large batches of material when only a small sample is
But if you put ice in the microwave won’t it melt?
The metal shields in the EssenEx protect the ice from melting
due to the microwaves; the ice will only melt due to the condensation of
the steam and oil vapor.
But I thought metal can’t be put in the microwave?
Normally this is true, however the patent pending design allows
for safe microwave use without any worry of arcing or damage to your
Steam Distillation vs Microwave Extraction
Steam Distillation uses a boiler to produce steam. The steam then
travels through a large sealed container packed with plant material. As
it heats up the plant and passes through it extracts the oil. The oil
then travels with the steam into a condenser where cold water is passed
over it as it as the steam travels through small tubes. Now the oil and
water are liquids again and the oil is separated by removing it from the
top of the water because it is not as dense (like ice cubes!).
Microwave extraction uses microwave energy to heat the water in the plant
material to create steam. When the steam is formed from the water in the
plant material it does a greater job of breaking up the oil nodules on the
plant. The steam then travels with the oil vapor and condenses on the frozen
ice core. As the ice melts both the water and oil drop into the condensate
cup positioned below the ice. After about 6 minutes in the microwave the oil
floats to the top and is ready to be separated.