Thursday 24 April, 2014

”Resomation”, the new environmentally friendly way of disposing dead bodies

Published On: Tue, Sep 6th, 2011 | Energy Science | By BioNews

Wish to continue your environmentally friendly life after death? You can do so with a new post-death disposal called “resomation”, which is a greener alternative to cremation.

Developed by a firm in Scotland, resomation is a high-temperature water and chemical treatment that dissolves mortal remains, and the process is as quick as traditional flame cremations, but without the environmentally harmful chemical emissions.

“To the public, what they see is actually no different from a standard cremation process,” Discovery News quoted Sandy Sullivan, founder and managing director of Resomation Ltd, as saying.

A body is put into a capsule-like chamber, which is then filled with water and a chemical called potassium hydroxide, which is highly alkaline — the opposite of acid.

The water is heated and gently circulated. After two- to three hours, all that is left of the body is bone, which is then ground down into a powder to be returned to the family.

The water, which contains broken down organic materials, is funnelled into standard municipal water treatment facilities and returned into the hydrological cycle.

The patented process not only cuts the release of greenhouse gases common with flame-based cremations, it also allows toxic mercury from a deceased”s dental work to be recovered and safely disposed of.

“This process returns to the family cremated remains. The difference is this is an environmental process that doesn”t have the air emissions you experience with traditional flame cremations,” Steven Schaal, president of Matthews Cremation of Orlando, Fla., said.

The process, also known as alkaline hydrolysis, has been used at the University of Florida in Gainesville and at the Mayo Clinic to dispose of cadavers used for medical research.

So far, alkaline hydrolysis has been approved for commercial use in Florida, Minnesota, Maryland, Oregon, Kansas, Colorado and Maine.

Several other states, as well as the United Kingdom and other countries are considering the technology.

“Let”s face it – there”s no nice way to go. You have to go from what looks like a human person to ash and bone, whether you get there by flame or decomposition,” Sullivan added.

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