Hands if you want to be cremated when you die! If you put your hand up, shame on you. Did you not know that cremation can result in nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, mercury, hydrogen fluoride (HF), hydrogen chloride (HCI), NMVOCS, other heavy metals, and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) being released into the atmosphere? To combat the environmental impact of cremation (not to mention traditional burial), Glasgow-based Resomation Ltd has installed its first commercial “alkaline hydrolysis” unit, called The Resomator, at a Florida funeral home which dissolves bodies instead of burning them.

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The liquidation unit works by using heated alkaline water to dissolve bodies. Not only does the process produce a third less greenhouse gas emissions than cremation, but it also uses a seventh of the energy and allows for the complete separation of dental amalgam for safe disposal.

Why this important? Well, mercury that is burnt in cremation has been blamed for an astounding 16 percent of UK airborne mercury emissions. As a result, many crematoriums are installing filtration systems, but more can be done.

Speaking to BBC News, company founder Sandy Sullivan said: “Resomation was developed in response to the public’s increasing environmental concerns. It gives them that working third choice, which allows them to express those concerns in a very positive and I think personal way.”

It’s also quick. By placing the body in a solution of water and potassium hydroxide, which is pressurized to 10 atmospheres and heated to 180C, it can be dissolved in under three hours.

There is a small catch. Once the tissue is all dissolved, the remaining liquid is poured into the municipal water system, which means you could potentially drink dead people. However, Mr. Sullivan is quick to point out that tests have proven that the waste is sterile and contains no DNA. It also has no impact on the environment.

Any fake limbs, bones or metal in the body can be removed from the unit and recycled or recovered for proper disposal. The machine is patented in Europe with patents pending in other countries.

So what do you think? In terms of green body disposal would you give it a go or do you still prefer the method of being frozen in liquid nitrogen and shattered? That’s how I’m planning on being disposed of.

+ Resomation Ltd

via BBC News