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Water vs Flame Cremation (Alkaline Hydrolysis vs Cremation)

Alkaline hydrolysis and flame cremation are two procedures available for the disposal of human remains, both producing an end result that meets the same purpose. However, these techniques vary drastically in terms of their procedure and environmental impact.

Alkaline hydrolysis, otherwise known as aquamation or water cremation, is a process that uses water and alkali chemicals to disintegrate the body. The corpse is inserted into an isolated chamber where a mixture of hot water and potassium hydroxide are introduced. This concoction will be heated up at high temperatures with vigorous agitation which causes it to quickly break down the body until all that remains are bone fragments. Afterwards these pieces undergo further cleansing from residual tissue followed by pulverization till only powdered bones remain in its wake.

In contrast, Flame Cremation is a process which utilizes extremely hot flames to reduce the body into its basic components. The deceased is placed in a crematorium and heated until reaching temperatures of 1400-1800 Fahrenheit in order to begin disintegrating their material form. Afterward, all that remains are fragments composed of bones; these pieces undergo further processing to extract any remaining tissue before being crushed into powdery ash for Memorialization purposes.

There are multiple advantages to selecting alkaline hydrolysis over flame cremation, particularly when it comes to its effects on the environment. Not only does this process require less energy and produce fewer greenhouse gases than traditional cremation, but there is also no risk of releasing any deleterious pollutants or toxins into the atmosphere. Furthermore, the residual liquid created during the procedure contains nothing dangerous; it can be safely disposed of without causing environmental damage.

On the contrary, flame cremation is known to produce large amounts of carbon dioxide and different pollutants and toxins like mercury from dental fillings. Although up-to-date cremation technology has significantly reduced the amount of contaminants unleashed into our atmosphere, it still leads to air contamination and climate change. Moreover, accomplishing this requires massive energy consumption that mostly originates from burning hazardous fossil fuels.
One key distinction between the two techniques is the physical state of the remains after completion. Alkaline hydrolysis yields bone fragments that are usually reduced to a fine powder, which has a similar look to those produced by flame cremation; however, this powder is generally lighter-colored and more velvety. Furthermore, some suggest that alkaline hydrolysis results in more biodegradable ashes than its fire counterpart.

Flame cremation produces dark and coarsely textured remains which are typically processed into a powder referred to as “ashes.” Compared to the finer ashes derived from alkaline hydrolysis, these remain durable for longer. On top of that, many people state that flame cremated remains are more resilient than those produced by alkaline hydrolysis.

Beyond the physical processes, there are financial implications to consider as well. Alkaline hydrolysis tends to be pricier than flame cremation due in part to its specialized machinery and steps taken for tissue removal from bone fragments. However, traditional flame cremation is a widely used procedure that makes it more accessible and economical for families who seek this option.

In conclusion, alkaline hydrolysis and flame cremation are two very different methods for disposing of human remains. While both methods achieve the same end goal, they differ significantly in terms of the process. Return Home uses a process known as Terramation to gently transform human remains into soil. To learn more, click here!

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