Essentia Distillation is a research option available to research after researching Nitor and Alumentum and is found in the Alchemy tab. Researching Essentia Distillation allows for one to begin breaking down items into the pure liquid forms of their aspects, in the form of a liquid called Essentia. Although this research only unlocks the Essentia Smeltery, there are 2 others available for research. This research also unlocks the building of Alembics.
The Essentia Smeltery is where one will first begin breaking items into their aspects in a relatively controlled manner, as opposed to simply allowing the aspects of the item to rest unstably in a pot of boiling water, the Crucible. Breaking down an item into its different types of Essentia allows for the items aspects to be stored indefinitely in different sources, usually in Phials or Jars in its liquid form Essentia, or as a pure, solid crystalline form of the individual aspects known as Crystallized Essence, which can be produced via the Essentia Crystallizer. The Essentia Smeltery itself is created at an Arcane Workbench with 5 stone in an upside-down helmet like shape in the bottom section of the Workbench, a furnace in the center, a Crucible in the top middle section, and then 2 Brass Plates in the left and right upper sections, along with 25 Aqua and Ignis Vis. The introductory Essentia Smeltery only operates at about 85% efficiency and processes the slurry it produces at a relatively slow speed, but this can be increased in several ways, especially by augmenting the Smeltery with gadgets from the Improved Essentia Distillation research or by researching and using the more advanced variants of the Essentia Smeltery. However, the Smeltery is useless on its own as it cannot process the slurry it creates. For this, one needs an Arcane Alembic.
The Arcane Alembic is a device used to drawn out and distill the slurry of aspects created by any variant of the Essentia Smeltery. They can stack up to 5 on top of each other on an Essentia Furnace and can have Essentia Tubes attached to them or be clicked on with Phial or Jar to manually remove the Essentia from in them. The type and amount of Essentia in them can also be seen if one is wearing any variant of the Goggles of Revealing. Each Alembic can hold up to 32 points of any single type of Essentia. Usually, therefore, the amount of Essentia that can be held and distilled at one time by the maximum amount of Alembics on an Essentia Furnace is 160 points of up to 5 different type of Essentia. However, using augmentations found under the Improved Essentia Distillation research can increase this number up to 640 points of Essentia of up to 20 different types. This is much more than enough if one is removing aspects at any reasonable rate from the Alembics system. Alembics are created at an Arcane Workbench with 4 Greatwood planks in each corner of the Workbench, with 2 Brass Plates in the middle left and right sections, 2 Essentia Filters in the middle top and bottom sections, and a bucket in the middle, along with 25 Aqua and 15 Aer Vis. Once Essentia has been drawn out of an Alembic, it is completely pure and usable for any tasks it is needed for.