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Live Green, Die Green: Meet the Resomator, The Ultimate Way of Getting Cremated

picture (c) Yorkshire Evening Post

If you lived green, then you’ve got to die green. And if you want to die green, then you’ve totally got to check this out. Resomation, a Scottish company, is now installing their second “green cremation” machine in Minnesota, as an alternative to cremation.

This second version of the resomation machine, which contains improved software and hardware to make the process smoother and quieter, produces a third less greenhouse gas than cremation and is seven times more energy efficient.

Basically, the resomation machinery dissolves the corpses in an alkaline solution (potassium hydroxide, aka caustic potash) heated at 300 degrees Celsius (572 Fahrenheit). The whole process lasts about three hours and leaves only the skeleton, which is then passed through a grinder that makes a fine powder, which is then given to the family.

Moreover, this method of cremation allows for the complete separation of dental amalgam containing mercury for safe disposal. Mercury from classic crematoria occupies an important place on the list of airborne mercury emissions all around the world.

In the U.S. this is also being called “flameless cremation,” and is the latest fashion in the industry. The first machine has been installed at the Anderson-McQueen funeral home in St Peterburg, FL, and the second at the Bradshaw Celebration of Life Center in Stillwater, MN.

Sandy Sullivan, the company founder, hopes to install another 10 to 15 such machines around the U.S. in the near future, since eight states already passed legislation to allow the use of the Resomation method.

How about the good old burial method? Is it completely dead? Yeah, I know, there’s too many of us, but I still feel like I’d like to be buried instead of being cremated, in any form… and I think that’s also greener, too.

[via bbc]

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  1. Resomation liquifies dead bodies to the public sewers.
    There are concerns that the fatty liquids may clog pubic sewer pipes with
    human body fat that may turn to solids…like pouring bacon grease down the sink.

    And the high solids content of the liquified corpses may not comply with sewer use bylaws.

    The sewage treatment plant must labour to take those liquids from the corpses and turn them back into solids – into sewage sludge that is then incinerated, or landfilled, or put on farmland. The environmental cost of all these outcomes must be calculated into the footprint for this technology.

    Potassium hydroxide has a very bad ecological footprint – releasing mercury in its production.

    A simple shroud, soil, no embalming fluids…that sounds like green to me.


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