Is the Body dissolved in acid?
No, alkaline hydrolysis uses a catalyst called alkali, which is a strong base, the chemical opposite of an acid.
Why is this considered an environmentally friendly choice?
There are no direct emissions of harmful greenhouse gasses or mercury into the atmosphere. Additionally, alkaline hydrolysis is very energy efficient, offering an energy savings of up to 90% compared to traditional flame cremation, with 1/10th of the carbon footprint.
How does it work?
During alkaline hydrolysis, an individual body is gently placed into a clean, stainless steel vessel. A combination of water flow, temperature, and alkalinity are used to accelerate the natural process of tissue hydrolysis. At the end of the process, the body is dissolved in the water—the only solid remains left are the bone mineral.
What happens to the water?
The water is returned to the ecosystem via the normal municipal wastewater treatment facility, just as in the embalming processes of all mortuary services in the United States. This simple and effective treatment is possible because AH dissolution produces a completely sterile solution of amino acids, sugars, nutrients, and salts, all of which are also byproducts of natural decomposition.
What is the impact of the water usage? The aqua cremation process uses less water than the average household uses in one day—approximately 80 gallons for each dissolution. This includes all of the water used for the process, including the clean water rinses of the final remains and the stainless steel vessel itself.
Are the powdered ashes safe to handle?
Yes, the remains are 100% safe; pathogen and disease free. The ash that is returned to the family is simply bone mineral (calcium phosphate). The ashes can be treated just as the ashes resultant from traditional flame cremation—they can be kept in an urn at home or in a mausoleum, or they can be buried or scattered in a special place, as some families choose to do.
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Are the alkalis used in the process safe for the environment?
Yes, the solution utilized in alkaline hydrolysis is 95% water and 5% alkali. The alkali used is actually a combination of alkalis, sodium and potassium hydroxide, and are the same alkalis used in common cosmetic products such as body washes or shaving creams, and even in some food preparation. At the end of the process, the chemical is completely used and no longer remains in the water solution.
Also known as aqua cremation, alkaline hydrolysis is an eco-friendly alternative to flame cremation and burial. Alkaline hydrolysis, also referred to as dissolution, aqua cremation, water cremation, flameless cremation, and green cremation, is a method used to return a decedent to their most basic components: minerals and water.