(BBC) New body ‘liquefaction’ unit unveiled in Florida funeral home

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Glasgow-based company has installed its first commercial "alkaline hydrolysis" unit at a Florida funeral home.

The unit by Resomation Ltd is billed as a green alternative to cremation and works by dissolving the body in heated alkaline water.

The facility has been installed at the Anderson-McQueen funeral home in St Petersburg, and will be used for the first time in the coming weeks. It is hoped other units will follow in the US, Canada and Europe.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

22 Comments
Posted August 31, 2011 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Not to be crass, but there is a completely green and cheap method: natural decomposition. Simply bury the body in the ground without any manner of embalming, cremating, or whatever creepy vaporization process this article is referring to. This is completely legal in most states, provided you didn’t die of some mysterious infection that might contaminate the soil.

August 31, 10:44 am | [comment link]
2. Creedal Episcopalian wrote:

Pine box. And don’t allow plastic flowers in the cemetery.
(Though a black metal casket with exhaust pipes and a back slanted “number 3” on it would be cool…)

Seriously. Why should a funeral cost $6,000?
Headstones are for the living, they’re no use to the dead.

August 31, 11:57 am | [comment link]
3. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Well, how thoroughly disgusting.  We are all to be liquifacted into gunk which is flushed into the water we drink.  The future is euthanasia - the future is Soylent Green.

Yuk!  What a thoroughly horrible little man with his Glasgee money-making scheme.

August 31, 1:35 pm | [comment link]
4. Hakkatan wrote:

I do not want to be cremated at all - but cremation is a thousand times preferable to this disgusting procedure.

August 31, 1:37 pm | [comment link]
5. Scatcatpdx wrote:

I let the US Navy do it, I am a vet (former radar technician). Just chuck me over the side. Better yet cremate me, put me in a cylinder, attach wings and a hook and me to a aircraft carrier and shoot me off the catapult.  Other option is put my ashes in a missile used for US Navy missile exercises; the warhead is removed so there is plenty of room.

August 31, 1:42 pm | [comment link]
6. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Didn’t they do this on Arrakis in Frank Herbert’s Dune?

August 31, 1:46 pm | [comment link]
7. Creedal Episcopalian wrote:

Dune? Not Really, that was only a movie. Besides, I think they dried bodies out to recover their water, not dissolve them in caustics.

August 31, 2:13 pm | [comment link]
8. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

But didn’t want was left get fed to the Sandworms?

August 31, 2:14 pm | [comment link]
9. Clueless wrote:

I do not think it will catch on.  First it is not “green”.  Production of alkali takes energy. Lots of energy.  Then the disposal of the waste (toxic alkali contaminated with human remains) will be an issue.  My guess is that they will neutralize it with acid (also requiring energy to make) evaporate the water, and voila, you have your grandfather in powdered form (similar to cremation), only his remains have been thoroughly mixed with salt. 

Burial in a pine box would be nice, unfortunately one needs to reserve space in a graveyard for a few hundred years.

Cremation for me, thanks.  Scatter my ashes over a suitable body of water.

August 31, 3:38 pm | [comment link]
10. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

I advise people against cremation myself because Orthodox Christian belief entails resurrection of the body, not just the soul. If the body truly is a temple, I cannot see how cremation is one final desecration of that temple.

August 31, 5:02 pm | [comment link]
11. Teatime2 wrote:

Nope, turn me into ash, not soup (or worm/insect food, for that matter), and install me in a columbarium. I’ve been thinking that I’d like a bit of my ashes to reside in English soil, as well, which I’m sure I could easily arrange through friends.

August 31, 6:50 pm | [comment link]
12. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#11 Teatime2
May I ask which bit that would be?

August 31, 8:06 pm | [comment link]
13. Robert Dedmon wrote:

So PC.  So Green.  So Weird.  Can one imagine a loquacious,
lugurious liturgy of final liquification?
A pine box preferable for me.  However, I wouldn’t mind being
cremated, with the ashes tossed somewhere around the 50 yard line in Neyland Stadium after Tennessee totally defeats Florida in Knoxville,  27-zip.  Fortunately, that is in the far future.

August 31, 9:04 pm | [comment link]
14. NoVA Scout wrote:

I find it disturbing that the liquefied tissue gets dumped into the municipal water system.  I suppose if I thought hard about what else goes there, I might have a better sense of perspective.  But however “green” this is from an energy perspective, it doesn’t sound all that sound environmentally if done on a large scale.

August 31, 9:19 pm | [comment link]
15. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

We’ve certainly had practical/theological discussion re:  burial vs. cremation, but this is off-the-wall.  Eeew…

August 31, 9:38 pm | [comment link]
16. Ezekiel wrote:

Very disturbing

August 31, 9:44 pm | [comment link]
17. Northwest Bob wrote:

So #10 Archer:  what happens to people who die in a fire or are blow to bits in a war?  I am looking forward to my new reserection body (say age 28) not my old clunky body.  grin
IHSV,
NW Bob

August 31, 9:48 pm | [comment link]
18. Teatime2 wrote:

It would be impossible to tell, Pageantmaster. Although it would be awesome to request that my cremated heart be installed in English soil, I don’t believe that sort of specialization exists and, if it did, I doubt I could afford it. wink

But my plan is to leave money for my son to take a small portion of my cremins to England and add them to the gardens at an Anglican parish close to my best friend’s home in Surrey. It would be very fitting. I have spent my happiest moments on Earth in England and my son and I enjoyed memorable trips there so that would be our last trip “together.” Before unexpected and debilitating illness struck, I was in process to move there and teach but it became impossible. I would like it if part of me could go and remain there after all, particularly in a garden.

August 31, 9:53 pm | [comment link]
19. driver8 wrote:

So folks mortal remains will literally be flushed down the loo. Nice…

August 31, 10:26 pm | [comment link]
20. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#18 Your heart’s in the right place, Teatime2.
God bless
PM

August 31, 10:43 pm | [comment link]
21. IchabodKunkleberry wrote:

Assuming I die before my spouse, I have given her instructions to throw my corpse onto the compost heap so that I can start doing some good for the world.

September 1, 1:35 am | [comment link]
22. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

Teatime2, one of my friends was born Welsh to a British mother.  Sadly, his parents’ marriage ended in divorce during WWII.  His mom later married an American in the Canadian military and he, as a child, moved here.  But, his mom’s heart was always British and when she died at age 90, he took her back(cremated) to be interred in Pettistree.  He goes back to England every spring to visit her grave and other family members.  She, I think, would have been very happy with her “last journey” and I bet you will be, too.  BUT, not any time soon, I hope!!  grin

September 1, 1:49 am | [comment link]
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