A Glasgow-based company has installed its first commercial “alkaline hydrolysis” unit at a Florida funeral home.
The unit by Resomation Ltd is billed as a green alternative to cremation and works by dissolving the body in heated alkaline water.
The facility has been installed at the Anderson-McQueen funeral home in St Petersburg, and will be used for the first time in the coming weeks. It is hoped other units will follow in the US, Canada and Europe.
The makers claim the process produces a third less greenhouse gas than cremation, uses a seventh of the energy, and allows for the complete separation of dental amalgam for safe disposal.
The system works by submerging the body in a solution of water and potassium hydroxide which is pressurised to 10 atmospheres and heated to 180C for between two-and-a-half and three hours.
Body tissue is dissolved and the liquid poured into the municipal water system.