Alklaline Hydrolysis is an eco-friendly alternative to cremation

Cremated ash held in hands

Cremation and Alkaline Hydrolysis both produce an ash-like susbstance. Photo by iStock/Alexnika

A New Type of Cremation

A year ago we wrote a post about alkaline hydrolysis, frequently dubbed resomation or “green cremation.” Since that time, new advances have been made and resomation has been legalized in several states in the U.S.

Burials are said to be more polluting to the environment than cremation. To put it as simply as possible: burials are polluting for the planet. “More than 800,000 gallons of formaldehyde are put into the ground along with dead bodies every year in the US. That’s enough to fill one and a quarter Olympic-sized swimming pools each year.” (Julia Calderone, Business Insider) On top of the dangerous and toxic chemicals released, a crazy amount of viable resources are used up. On top of this, many cities have run out of space to bury those who have passed leaving cremation as the best and most economical option available to individuals and families. Cremation rates are set to double, if not triple by 2035.

In steps Alkaline Hydrolysis, a new process which produces a similar as like substance to that of normal cremation, but with slim to no negative carbon emissions. Resomation calls itself the “The alternative to flame cremation and burial with environmental benefits.”

The process of resomation or alkaline hydrolysis involves the use of water and lye, and then heated to a temperature around 160 °C (320 °F). During this process, the body is “effectively broken down to its chemical components, which takes about three hours.” Green Cremation is said to use a fraction of the energy of normal cremation, and produces less carbon dioxide and pollutants.

Green cremation is currently legal in the following U.S states: Oregon, Minnesota, Maryland, Maine, Kansas, Illinois, Florida, Colorado, Georgia, Wyoming, and Idaho. And additional rules are pending in California, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
It is legal in the Canadian states of Quebec, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.

As stated by the creators of Resomation: “The actual term Resomation was thoughtfully chosen using “Resoma” which is a Greek/Latin derivation for “rebirth of the human body”

While resomation is not readily available for all, it is certainly proving to be another contender and providing an alternative option for families.

Green cremation/ Resomation can be used with the Bios Urn, as the ashes from the process are similar and can be held within the chamber of the Bios Urn to grow a tree.

What are your thoughts on this new and upcoming process? Do you want to see it available in your city? Write your thoughts below.

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    • Hi James, there appears to be one funeral home in St. Petersburg which offers the option. The name is Anderson Mcqueen funeral home.

  1. I would love to see it offered everywhere. Anything cleaner and better for the earth. I live in Texas and would like to have that option.

    • Hi Tiffany, there is currently some legislature being reviewed in Nevada on whether or not to legalize the process! It could very well be in the upcoming years.

    • Hi Lorrie, we are sure in the future it will. Costs may be slightly higher, but it depends – although as with everything, over time costs may decrease.

  2. Is there a list anywhere of places that provide this service. I am looking for a place in Idaho in particular. Thank you.

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