Yesterday, I visited Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home in St. Petersburg, FL and learned why Resomation is the ultimate way to “go green.” Here are a few quick facts (if you have a weak stomach, skip the first two bullet points):
- Definition – Resomation is a patented process that heats and pressurizes water and potassium hydroxide to 350 degrees Fahrenheit to remove body tissue (rather than direct flames). Water accounts for approximately 95 percent of the total solution.
- Since the fluid left over at the end of the process is technically sterile, not hazardous, and contains no DNA, it is treated normally at a water treatment plant.
- The Resomator at Anderson-McQueen will be operational in mid October, making it the first commercial Resomator in the world. It was built by the Glasgow-based company, Resomation Ltd, which has worked closely with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The machine itself costs roughly $450,000.
- According to an independent 2011 life cycle analysis, the environmental impact of Resomation is significantly lower than burial and traditional “flame” cremation.
- Another independent study by Sustain found that compared to cremation, Resomation cuts greenhouse gases by 35 percent, and electricity and gas to less than one eighth.