Saturday, 2 October 2010

New Scientist: Dissolving your earthly remains will protect the Earth

Want to leave a light footprint on this Earth when you die? Perhaps you should consider "aquamation", a new eco-alternative to burial and cremation.


With land for burials in short supply and cremation producing around 150 kilograms of carbon dioxide per body – and as much as 200 micrograms of toxic mercury – aquamation is being touted as the greenest method for disposing of your mortal remains.


The corpse is placed into a steel container and potassium is added, followed by water heated to 93 °C. The flesh and organs are completely decomposed in 4 hours, leaving bones as the only solid remains.


This is similar to what's left after cremation, where the "ashes" are in fact bones hardened in the furnace and then crushed.


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