A Florida funeral home has debuted a new alternative to cremation, known as the Resomator, that uses heated alkaline water to dissolve bodies in about three hours. Why do we need an alternative to cremation in the first place? Turns out cremation devices use lots of energy, release a fair amount of carbon emissions, and, in the U.K., are responsible for 16% of mercury emissions.
Created by a Glaswegian company, the Resomator submerges bodies in a potassium hydroxide solution in its steel chamber, then pressurizes (to about ten atmospheres) and heats (to over 350 degrees F) the solution for about three hours. After that, the resulting liquid is simply poured into the regular sewage system--it apparently poses no environmental risk and has passed Florida's undoubtedly strict laws for this sort of bio-disposal. Bones remain and are pulverized to ash in the usual way, and any metal bits (including mercury and any prostheses) are retained to be disposed of or recycled in a more responsible way.
Florida is just one of seven states that has legalized the Resomator, but it may catch on in others. The president of Resomation Ltd, the company behind the device, says it emits a third less greenhouse gas and uses a mere seventh of the energy of a cremation device, let alone the benefits of safe extraction of mercury and other metals. The company seems hopeful that its macabre but useful creation will soon receive approval in its native U.K..
New Energy drink anyone?
Powered by the future YOU!
Okay that's just creepy.
okey... lets live forever to avoid this... Oo""
bored? lets go mine the stars... ^^
while the liquefaction is no different, in my mind, than cremation, I find the being dumped in the sewer system portion to be very disrespectful.
why learn from your own mistakes, when you could learn from the mistakes of others?
I'm all for alternative methods of handling the deceased that consume less energy and are more environmentally friendly than cremation. I'm curious as to why the resulting solution is dumped into the sewage system rather than given to the family or something. Still, interesting concept.
"Here is a bag of 'ash' and a 30 gallon barrel of your uncle Joe. Our deepest condolences"
For some reason soylent green comes to mind.
In other news, and equally respectful and green method of body disposal - dump it in a river.
Seriously? Seems pumping bodily remains into a sewer is very disrespectful
Smacks of the movie Water World. "She will now be recycled in the customary fasion."[gets dumped into sludge]
There is something creepy about this. The body is basically boiled in a pressure cooker and falls apart like a stew.
Anyone up for "body shots"? Thank you folks, I'll be here all week.
Do these supposed environmental benefits include the production of potassium hydroxide by electrolysis of potassium chloride? or the inefficiencies of transporting the KOH solution via truck-tanker vs existing natural gas pipelines for traditional cremation?
Isn't this very similar to the manufacture of soap via the saponification reaction with sodium hydroxide? So the sewered wastewater would be no worse than a soap manufacturer's wastewater (assuming complete reaction of KOH or post-neautralization with HCL).
I find if interesting that most people will have a difficult time accepting the sewering of human remains, however, "Bones remain and are pulverized to ash in the usual way" will have no effect on them.
All cultures and societies have varying funeral rights and ceremonies. While this may seem odd to us now, in 20 years it will be commonly accepted.
I believe being buried at sea economical. The body just returns back to the environment.
Why cremation devices in the U.K. are responsible for 16% of mercury emissions. Doesn't anyone find this really odd for it to produce so much mercury? I doubt the mercury is coming from the human; so where is it coming from?
Perhaps they just can burn the body a different way, a gentle airplane ride over an active volcano?
This truly gives new meaning to having Aunt Bessie in a vase. Now you can put flowers in the vase and Aunt Bessie can help them grow. It's kinda beautiful if you think about it...... unless the flowers die, oh my.
Is the mercury from dental fillings?
lol @ all the funny comments. cremation is better.
The people of the world only divide into two kinds, One sort with brains who hold no religion, The other with religion and no brain.
- Abu-al-Ala al-Marri-10th century Syrian poet
At my laundry mat I have to put 6 quarters in the side of the machine. I wonder where you put the quarters in this machine and how much it cost.
@JediMindset, Should I ever find myself in a line for a plane or boat and you are ahead of me.... I believe I will get the next plane. I prefer not to go where you heading in life.
@mjmlacrosse, and how is this method any more creepy than injecting a dead body with chemical preservatives, putting clothing and makeup on it, then burying it in a chemically treated wooden box? Trying to keep a dead body from decomposing for the sole purpose of placing it somewhere nobody can look at it is actually the creepy thing here. I for one am glad that we're looking to improve our methods rather than just sticking with "traditions" simply because we don't like to have to think about things.
I personally still want to get shot into space after I die... But that's just my preference over being liquefied by alkaline water...
Anybody see the movie Green Fried Tomatoes?
Christ! What happened to the new rules? It would be nice to be able to read some intelligent posts once in a while without having to scroll through endless nonsense from the same fool.
At the end of the movie of "Green Fried Tomatoes" it was suggested the bad guy was butchered, barbecued and served up for dinner at a restaurant to dispose of the body so the police could never find it. I suppose you never saw the movie?
Leadership is a wonderful thing. I expect tomorrow all the readers of PoPSCi will be delighted by your awesome interesting comments on this article and other articles or do you just whine….
At first I was just creeped out by this new machine, then I came to the part about the liquified remains basically being flushed down the toilet and I knew there was nothing I liked about it other than it supposedly being more environmentally friendly than cremation.
Why not a wood chipper, if were looking for mafia style ways to dispose of the body. At least your remains could be readily turned into a mulch.
Or the body could be exposed on an elevated pillar, for the birds to feast upon, as was traditional in areas like Persia and Nepal.
To the person who was suggesting a burial in space, there is a story over at technovelgy about a guy requesting that he be shot into the sun. Now THAT's cremation. It wouldn't be cheap. Dropping the bodies by helicopter into an active volcano would be considerably more feasible.
Of course that assumes that you don't want to preserve your body cryogenically or donate as many of your organs to help as many people and as many scientific causes as possible.
There is always dinner the next day..... deep southern fried.
I can see this being used to make little green crackers called Soylent Green!
So how did you guess I was talking about you, Bubba?
How much do want to bet this eventually ends up sprayed on our crops as fert. I would say it's a better option than cremation. When you think of burning anything else kind of symbolic and it is to completely destroy it. Not burning it would be more respectful. But if the kids are playing ball in the house, I would rather clean up ashes.
How about another alternative. Anerobic digestion, it is allready used for animal waste. It creates no polution and instead creates energy and high quality fertilizer. Then Grandpa or Grandma can be used to power your house or car and grow your flowers.
To suddenly show up and whine that someone else is troll, you then are guilty of being the troll too, if you offer nothing useful to the said original article.
Quantity of comments is not a definition of trolling, but
more closely associated with spamming and involves solicitation.
In brief, internet-trolling means posting irrelevant, controversial, equivocating, ambiguous, or unclear response to a genuine set of arguments. Those who do such things are called as "an internet troll." It is commonly done in discussion forums or in blog type newsgroups.
at lionhunter: It takes too long.
Why discard the solution? It is a great source for first class soap and other chemicals. Recycling at it's best!