Co-operative Funeralcare puts its money on alkaline hydrolysis

Charles 13 Comments
Charles

From The Co-operative booklet (2011) My Legacy.  Ethical Strategy:

Throughout the 20th century, people in the UK were limited to the choice of either burial or cremation when dealing with a loved one’s remains. Now, in the early part of the 21st century, The Co-operative Funeralcare is putting significant resources behind the development of Resomation.® This new alternative uses an alkaline hydrolysis process and, like cremation, leaves behind a quantity of ash.

Resomation® has a number of environmental benefits including a reduction in the amount of energy needed in comparison to cremation, and a carbon footprint which is 35% less than cremation. The Co-operative Funeralcare is working towards having the process legally recognised throughout the UK.

Find out what you don’t know about Resomation here.

The, so far as I know, unpublished fact about Funeralcare’s interest in Resomation is that it owns 65 per cent of the company. My apologies to Funeralcare if this is confidential information.

In the light of this, we may speculate that Funeralcare regards alkaline hydrolysis as the technology which will depose cremation, confound its competitors and make its fortune.

What do you think of that?

 

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Paul Hensby
11 years ago

I had no idea they owned 65 per cent of Resomation. Clever and far sighted of them.
Is it a very expensive method of disposal?
Is it as ‘green’ as claimed?

Charles Cowling
11 years ago

It’s cheap. But don’t forget that it’s the running costs of a crem that put the prices up. The gas for a cremation costs just £16.54p.

It’s cheap-ish. Resomation uses, I think, hot water under pressure, so there’s energy input there. In the US there is a cold-water process.

It’s not so green as natural burial — but it’s a lot greener than burning.

And the bones are a lovely white.

Suffolk Nemesis
Suffolk Nemesis
11 years ago

Of course the interesting thing here is that this technology could potentially allow Funeralcare to own 65% of the license for every Resomator that is sold worldwide. Not only could Funeralcare earn profit from selling every Resomator, they might also ask for a fee for each time the Resomator is used. If you think long term, and worldwide, that is a lot of money. It might also explain why it looks like Funeralcare are not so keen to buy or build Crematoria. This a staggeringly clever move by Funeralcare. Not only is there vertical integration within the funeral business, there… Read more »

Charles Cowling
11 years ago

A chilling analysis, SN, the more so since you clearly have a business brain. The prospect is potentially horrifying.

You lighten things up somewhat with that excellent double joke at the end. Very good.

Your analysis is predicated on alk hydrolysis winning out as the alternative technology to cremation. Even if it does, it can’t possibly be patentable. As a cremator-half-full sort of person I take hope from that.

Any other wise heads out there?

(Should you ever find yourself in Norfolk, SN, you will find you have a doppelgänger.)

Fakenham Fact Finder
Fakenham Fact Finder
11 years ago
Charles Cowling
11 years ago

But this is just Sandy Sullivan’s (nice man in my experience)particular process, yes? It’s not the only one. They’ve been dissolving donated cadavers at the Mayo Clinic in the US for years…

Rupert Callender
Rupert Callender
11 years ago

As far as I know, Sandy invented the one in the Mayo clinic.

Charles Cowling
11 years ago

Ah…

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 years ago

My business brain is as sophisticated as a one-cell organism.

However, this seems to me to make sense of why Midlands Co-op would be interested in forking out £8million on a crematorium (rather than build a promessorium from scratch, for perhaps 10 times that, and give their families no choice of cremation – only a fool…) It would give them the competitive edge very nicely (We Offer More Choice), make them look ‘green’, and fool everyone else nicely thank you. Imagine: ‘Protecting the Planet – Because We Care’. Makes me go green, and not with envy.

Ed Gazvoda
11 years ago

The only operating alkali disposition system at a funeral home was sold by CycledLife, http://www.CycledLife.com. We manufacture a system that costs just $59,000 USD. The process cost is about $30 per body.

The Coffin Spa(TM) by CycledLife is the only alkaline hydrolysis system that is economically viable.

Charles Cowling
11 years ago

Ed, thank you for this. I meant to add a link to your site this morning having tracked you down as the outfit which manufactures a system which does not use high temperature and does not operate at high pressure — factors which, I think, make the process much more acceptable aesthetically, not to mention environmentally. I urge readers to visit Ed’s website – and to follow the goings-on in Ohio. It’s a big story right now. Here’s one link: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2011/03/25/columbus-funeral-home-halted-on-body.html

Jocelyne Monette
8 years ago

Interesting to see how facts can get distorted easily – the old adage, if you tell one person a story, it changes before it gets to the next person! Anyhow – Bio Response is the only manufacturer offering low pressure alkaline hydrolysis – which by the way is the proper term. Resomation is simply a trade name, as is aquamation, bio-cremaiton, water cremation and so on. The process is called alkaline hydrolysis – As well, Bio Response is the only one also offering low pressure pet systems – they do manufacture high pressure systems, but the low pressure is less… Read more »

Jed
Jed
8 years ago

Thank you Jocelyne – It’s a slow journey into the psyche of nations…