Sunday, January 02, 2022

Archbishop Desmond Tutu introduced me to "aquamation"

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who died recently, was interred in Cape Town Cathedral after undergoing "aquamation".

Aquamation (aka "alkaline hydrolysis" or "flameless cremation") is apparently an environmental alternative to regular cremation, using 90% less energy and not emitting any harmful greenhouse gases.

 Under this process, the body is placed in an airtight alkaline hydrolysis machine filled with water and alkaline chemicals, which is then heated to liquefy the body's tissues, leaving just the bones behind. The bones are then dried and pulverized, resulting in just a little more volume than cremation ashes.

It sounds like a pretty involved, almost industrial, process, and is almost certainly horribly expensive. But, if it uses 90% less energy, I'd be up for it.

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