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The Greenest Way to Die: Liquification

We don't deal all that much with death on Ecogeek, but sometimes something comes along that captures our attention, interest and ordering viagra online - of course - our morbid fascination. A way of processing corpses called resomation is one of those things. Veterinarians have been using a similar process for years now, but us humans are now finally getting in on the action.

Within a tank called a resomator, the body is immersed in a 1:21 solution of buy generic propecia online potash lye and water. Gas-powered steam generators build up pressure within the buying levitra tank as the temperature rises up to around 170 degrees celcius. Thanks to the pressure (and despite what the sales levitra general news media would have you think) there is no boiling, only a chemical reaction that completely liquefies everything but the bone ash in our bodies. When the tank is opened, only the bone ash and any implants or prosthetics the person had remain.

Sounds pretty gruesome, eh? It kind of reminds me of that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. You know the one. That thing gave me nightmares as a kid. Why even do it, you may ask? Well, this is where our interest in this technology comes in. Through talks with Sandy Sullivan, the founder and MD of Resomation Ltd, I've found out that an average cycle in this tank of three hours will consume around 90 kWh, while a cremation will consume 250 kWh. According to usefull link buy viagra online pharmacy Mr Sullivan, the total carbon footprint of a resomation is 18 times less than that of a cremation. Additionally, resomation is a 100% mercury-free process, something neither regular burial nor cremation can boast.

When the body has been fully liquefied, it has been separated into two main parts. The first is a bio-fluid that is basically a collection of all our building blocks: Salts, sugars, peptides, and amino acids. The nutrients in this liquid are still entirely intact and can be returned to the soil to help our plants grow. The second is basically a "shadow" of your bones called bone ash, pure calcium phosphate. This can be used in horticulture, ceramics, and even as a raising agent! In other words, getting resomated allows you to fully return your body to the Earth without worrying about adding a bunch of unwanted stuff to the soil at the same time.

Like I said, any implants or prosthetics the person may have had are also left behind, and are in fact in pristine condition. With further sterilisation and repackaging, expensive prosthetics can be put back into use. While what to do with these "leftovers" is still an open question, the folk at Resomation Ltd have considered donating them to viagra online without perscription third-world countries where such prosthetics would otherwise be completely unattainable.

So far, the process is only available in the United States, where more than 2,000 resomations have been performed so far, but the Glasgow-based company is only a year old, and Sullivan tells me that they are close to having the process specified as legal in the United Kingdom (bureaucracy at work!). Many local authorities in the UK are having trouble taking care of their dead, what with the FBCA's regulations on mercury emissions. Additionally, several green groups are championing this tech all around the world.

Don't worry, you can still have a dignified ceremony that doesn't differ much from cremation. The body is placed in a quite ordinary coffin that is lined with a silk bag that seals to become an enclosed silk coffin within the resomator. After the cycle, the soft bone ash can easily be powdered and put in an urn like you would after a cremation, with the added bonus that every single bit of ash is the body of the departed, not a mixture of whatever was in the furnace with the body. I can even think of a few additions to the lowering of pfizer viagra uk the ashes that would make the ceremony all the cialis headaches more meaningful, like fertilising the earth that surrounds our dearly departed's ashes with a vial containing their own bodily remains. One life gone, new life welcomed.

Myself, I've always had different plans for my burial, and it just so happens that this process fits my plans perfectly! I have been assured by mr Sullivan that if I were so inclined, I could preserve the structure of the bones rather than powdering them. I would have my skull reinforced and then filled with soil (fertilised with my own bio-gunk). In that soil, I'd have them plant a seed for what would grow up to become a huge tree bearing fruit! A hundred years later, the neighbourhood kids would still be scared witless of that tree, where a crazy old fool was buried (Alive, the rumors say!) and then a tree grew out of his eyesocket! The ghost tree would be the stuff of legends, I say! Legends!

... Until someone cuts it down to build a Starbucks there, of course.

If you want to read more about the technology and the process, I suggest you check Resomation Ltd's official website or this very easy-to-read and accurate description of the process of resomation at Cremate Personally, even if I can't have my elaborate plan set in motion, I'm sold on resomation.

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Comments (30)Add Comment
written by h, April 09, 2008
What about being used as a fertilizer and decomposing naturally? That'd be even better right?
written by Magnus H., April 09, 2008
Actually, decomposing through normal burial can release any number of levitra online canada no prescription harmful substances (like mercury or diseased tissue) into the soil, not to mention the viagra no prescription canada fact that bodies take a long time to decompose and take up a lot of space when buried "whole".
written by Robbert, April 09, 2008
The first is a bio-fluid that is basically a collection of all our building blocks: Salts, sugars, peptides and amino acids. The nutrients in this liquid are still entirely intact and can be returned to the soil to help our plants grow.

Soilent Green anyone?
Natural burial
written by Karsten, April 09, 2008
It takes space and time (about 12 years I hear) to fully decompose in soil IF you body is not pumped full of chemicals and usefull link fast cialis preservatives before burial and not places in a artificial container or additional concrete vault.

Natural burial is rare because there aren't many places where you can do it. I am still looking for some folks (say 100) to pay $1000 to participate in purchasing land in Northern New England and receive you own acre (or 1/4 acre, depending) and get buried naturally. Non-religious, just a natural marker (such as a tree) and coordinates of where your body lays.

Anyone interested in discussing this further?

Practical Advice To Pollute Less (even after you are dead)
written by Magnus H., April 09, 2008
It would actually be fantastic with an entire forest populated by trees grown over people's remains, whether they are resomated or buried naturally. I do have a feeling a lot of the local populace will feel it's mostly creepy rather than cool, though.
I want!
written by Shanmin, April 09, 2008
Ooooh, genius!! I almost can't wait to have this done... except, you know, I'd have to die first. I agree with Magnus; I'd like to become part of a forest. Kind of like reincarnation as a tree, only it's just molecules being rearranged.
written by ljd, April 09, 2008
Dying is greener anyway. Never seen a dead person driving a car, yet.

We could be the worst sort of polluters and not give a sh%$, if there were only say 1% of our present population.

If we maintain our quality of life, then for every time the world's population doubles, we'd have to reduce everyone's carbon footprint in half to just stay steady.

*I'm not advocating dying.*
written by mcpuddin, April 09, 2008
This reminds me of the death process in the novel Dune. Since water is so rare, when a person dies, the community quickly drains the water from the human and gives a certain percentage for themselves and a larger percentage to his/her killer.

With that said.. there's only one thing to say after resomating someone.. CHEERS
written by Leisureguy, April 09, 2008
Very good to know. But isn't the word you want "liquefaction"? Unless you're one of those who write, e.g., "analysation" instead of "analysis".
written by Magnus H., April 09, 2008
What's wrong with a little analysation, huh?! I guess you want me to say educasis too, huh? HUH?!

Heheh, you're absolutely right. I didn't write that headline, though.
Memento Mori
written by RegalPlatypus, April 09, 2008
I know isn't green, shame on me, but I'm donating my body to science (as long as I don't die by gruesome means in which my body ends up in small lil' nugglets unusable for dissection). After the med school or whatever uses your body, they cremate you out of their pocket.

After that though, hopefully I can have my ashes scattered at a green cemetery. Maybe a lil' tree planted.
written by kballs, April 09, 2008
This sounds so much like Soylent Green it's scary, even down to the silk bag. Next thing you know we'll have "organic" food grown with the "people juice" fertilizer.
Soylent Green - why not!
written by Pierre, April 10, 2008
Why can't the bodies by recycled into food? It is not as if you would be eating parts of a dead body, you would be eating merely the chemicals which previously constituted the body.

Perhaps it can be trialled first by the pet food manufacturers, and then perhaps in some third world countries.

Great idea.
What happens to the liquid?
written by john, April 10, 2008
how fascinating that you can do this, i'm just a little weirded out that dead people could find their way into the water supply... drinking dead people!
written by Magnus H., April 10, 2008
No no, there's no "human waste" in the end result. All that's left is an isolated bio-gunk that does not go into the water supply at all. The waste water is clean, too. The bio-gunk can be used for whatever you like, for example fertilising your garden or whatever you may feel is suitable. The key here is that the it's cool buy chinese herbal levitra bio-gunk is no longer actually related to the human it came from. It is simply a completely sterile mixture of our basic building blocks.
Soylent Green Testing
written by Tim, April 10, 2008
We want to be green but let us try out the human consumption of human on third world counties? How about in a laboratory setting where the ingestion can be monitored, controlled, measured and analyzed properly. But not likely, since the great democracy is against stem cell research and where to buy levitra the dining on horse and dog as protein sources.
written by Benny, April 10, 2008
Soylent Green? What about Soylent Gas? Or, a bit less macabre, Humanol! If ever there was an infinite resource, dead bodies would be it!
written by Lindsey, April 12, 2008
How much would this cost compared to a regular funeral?
written by Zale Colins, April 13, 2008
Having just viewed 11th hour , last night this appears to be an EXCELLENT Idea.

Any possibility there is a contact in Canada.
can the bio-liguids be convereted to bio
written by berliner, April 13, 2008
they shall know us by the trail of the dead — crushed under foot and consumed as fuel — pets, fetuses, liposuction remains, everyone who is old and in the way…
deadly mixture?
written by frisbee, April 14, 2008
Great idea! Except, what happens with the antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs quite a few of our dead have incorporated during their last weeks of life? Will these have decomposed as well? Or will a deadly poisonous mixture remain of usa levitra some of us?
written by Dagny McKinley, April 14, 2008
This was a great article, and like you would fit my idea of how to rid the world of my body perfectly. I specifically loved the idea of preserving the skull and planting a seed inside. Talk about giving back in more than one way :)
written by Valerie Dawnstar, April 17, 2008
I believe our distaste for anything surrounding death has gotten warped. People, animals, plants... we all die. It is part of the cycle of life.
Anyone heard of "green burials?" That's where you get buried - in a biodegradable casket or cloth bag, your choice - & just placed in the ground in a "green cemetery." They are legal as long as certain requirements are met. There is one in Ithaca, NY (of course) but the concept started with an MD actually in South Carolina. It puts the caring back in the hands of the family/friends. I like it for that reason but I am intrigued by this resomation.
written by Magnus H., April 19, 2008
Just in case any of tramadol with no perscription overnight you actually happen to come by here, I'll answer some more questions:

Lindsey: It would cost about the same as a cremation, or at least should. It used less energy and is a cleaner process, so it could even cost less in time.

Zale: I'm pretty sure there's no contact in Canada yet, but you're free to send the folks at Resomation an e-mail and original viagra they could probably help you with it.

Frisbee: No, any medicine and other toxins will be broken down entirely by the process. There is nothing left but the sludge, which is entirely sterile, and the bone ash.

Dagny: Thanks. ^_^

Valerie: I'm also of the impression that people's "respect" for the dead is largely misjudged and misdirected. If you want to respect ME when I'm dead, I'd like to be consumed in some form, for example by the Earth so I could help the world grow. Resomation is a step in that direction, especially considering that it basically does what any other burial would do, only quicker and cleaner. I like the idea of something growing from where my remains lay, and since I'm impatient in life, why not let resomation get things growing straight away once I'm dead? ^_^
broken down entirely?
written by frisbee, April 19, 2008
How about heavy metals: mercury, lead, cadmium, etc.? They cannot be broken down entirely, can they? Only organic materials can, isn't it?
written by Ms Maya, April 22, 2008
I use EM (effective microorganisms) to digest my kitchen compost (works very quickly) and plan to use it on myself. This allows for a very rapid decomposition with little microbes munching up everything and turning one into nice soil - I already have the jute cut for the surface under which I will plant desert restoration grasses.
written by Veriria, June 01, 2008
;D Loved the article. Gave me flashbacks from reading Dune!
written by just a guy, February 24, 2010
hah, the Indians had a better idea, build a platfrom in a tree, leave the body there, it feeds the birds and eventually gets back to the soil - and cheap! to bad we can't do that now..
Alternative system
written by CycledLife, April 20, 2010
The problem with alkaline hydrolysis is not the cost to process a human remain. It has been the $400,000 price tag for the systems. has finally solved this problem with a patent pending system that will allow water and alkali systems to be commercially viable.

Given this process that benefits, not harms the living, why would anyone want their body to be burned or buried?

The problem with just a guy's reference to the use of exposure, the norm over 300,000 years ago, for the final disposition of a body is that the birds, vultures in the Middle East, who eat the flesh are dying from ingesting pathogens contained in the deceased. This method is no longer sustainable.
written by Nelson Hay, January 25, 2011
Has anyone out there performed a rigorous calculation of the total greenhouse gas emissions from the various body disposal methods? By total, I mean including the viagra for women online emissions from making the potassium hydroxide (for liquefaction), electricity or natural gas or wood (for heating or cremation),etc?

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