Aquamation (Water Cremation): The Eco-Friendly Burial Chosen by Desmond Tutu

Share it with your friends Like

Thanks! Share it with your friends!


From TomoNews US

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA — The ashes of South Africa’s famous Archbishop Tutu are not really ashes. They were created by a water cremation process called “aquamation” that uses alkaline hydrolysis for a more eco-friendly burial. The Guardian reports that the ashes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu were interred on Sunday, January 2. As with normal cremations, these ashes are actually the deceased person’s crushed bones, but these crushed bones were produced not via burning, but via “aquamation,” a more environmentally friendly burial process. The scientific name for aquamation is “alkaline hydrolysis.” This requires that the body is placed inside an airtight and pressurized cylinder. The cylinder is filled with a mixture of water and strong alkaline chemicals, like potassium hydroxide. With the body inside, the liquids are heated to 150 degrees Celsius. The liquid is also gently circulated inside the canister. The process greatly accelerates the breakdown of organic materials, leaving only the bones intact. Proponents of this liquid cremation process say that it uses 90 percent less energy than flame cremation and it emits no harmful greenhouse gases. They also say that the process leaves around 32 percent more remains behind, meaning that it usually requires a slightly larger urn than would be required after cremation. Archbishop Tutu was famed for his humble lifestyle and his love for the environment. Before the aquamation process, his body was laid in state in the simplest and cheapest pine coffin that money could buy, as per his wishes. SOURCES: The Guardian, Washington Post, CNN………