The ‘green cremation’ process known most widely in the UK as Resomation after the company of that name is more accurately termed alkaline hydrolysis. We were reminded of that recently by blog reader Jocelyne Monette, keen that we should get the history of alkaline hydrolysis right and give credit where credit is due.
The Resomation process employs high temperature alkaline hydrolysis, and has a patent pending on its Resomator. The process is awaiting regulation by the Ministry of Justice and the Scottish Parliament. The company is 65 per cent owned by Co-operative Funeralcare.
Over in the US, Joe Wilson has been working on alkaline hydrolysis for 35 years and, at his company Bio-Response Solutions, has developed low temperature and high temperature processes. Bio Response has a unit in Canada for humans in Prince Albert SK at Gray Funeral Homes – and Quebec is next in line with 2 human units. In the USA Bio Response has human units in Chicago (high pressure) and low pressure in Maine, Ohio, Oregon and several other states.
Naturally, higher temperature systems use more energy to heat, and more water or energy to cool than do low temperature systems. A low temperature process takes longer, around 10 hours; the high temperature process developed by Resomation Ltd takes between 3-3 hours.
If you’d like to know more, here’s a pdf sent to me by Jocelyne: History of Alkaline Hydrolysis