With the popularity of cremation increasingly growing over the years, the advancement in technology keeps changing the conventional method of turning a deceased’s body into ashes.
What would you say if I told you that a body can now be cremated with ….WATER? Interesting – right? It seems technology is not only changing the way we live but also how we die and leave our legacy.
What is Aquamation?
Aquamation uses the scientific process of alkaline hydrolysis (the same process that decomposes a body naturally) but speeds it up with a combination of flowing water, high temperature and alkalinity, to accelerate the natural course of tissue hydrolysis and chemical breakdown.
This automated process takes place in a stainless steel vessel, and takes approximately 4 hours.
At the end of the above short process, the body is broken down into chemical form and dissolved into the water. The only similarity to traditional cremation is that the only solid remains are the bones which are then returned to the family as ashes.
How does this affect the funeral service?
The funeral service of an aquamation is no different to that of a traditional cremation service.
You still see a coffin, the coffin would go behind the curtain, and the family still get ashes back. So you wouldn’t actually see anything different, you wouldn’t know unless you were told. The difference is behind the scenes.
How can Aquamation be better for the Environment?
Since climate change has piqued the world’s environmental awareness, it has become clear that death, despite being a natural process, is causing environmental concern.
“Aquamation uses only 10 per cent of the energy of a conventional cremation and releases no toxic emissions” says John Humphries, chief executive of Aquamation Industries in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, who developed the technology and started using aquamation in Australia in 2010.
This is a great initiative,” says Barry Brook, a climate scientist at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. “It’s easy to dismiss these small-scale technologies as trivial, but if you add enough small-scale solutions together they can add up to something meaningful.”
What about you? Would you consider Aquamation?
According to a poll which ran alongside a SMH article, 68% of 2,066 surveyed said they would consider being aquamated. Watch this space as aquamation flows into a cremation trend.