Alkaline hydrolysis, also known as flameless cremation, is an alternative to fire cremation for both our human and pet loved ones. The process uses 1/20 of the energy of flame cremation. We now have the opportunity to offer families another form of disposition for their loved ones. Alkaline hydrolysis offers families the opportunity to contribute to a gentle, greener process. Families can make a lasting contribution to the environment on behalf of their loved one by making a decision that saves energy and reduces pollution. The traditional funeral ceremony and returning of the ashes remains unchanged.
Benefits of Flameless Cremation
Over 90% energy savings when compared to flame-based cremation.
No direct emissions of harmful greenhouse gases or mercury.
No burning of fossil fuels.
20% more ash remains returned to the family.
Can the body still be embalmed?
Yes, all embalming fluids are completely broken down in the process. If you wish to have a visitation for your loved one before the flameless cremation, embalming does not affect the process.
How long is the process?
The process takes approximately 6-8 hours, or 18-20 hours depending on the operating temperature. The 6-8 hour process takes place at 300°F, and the 18-20 hour process takes places at 200°F.
Are the ashes different?
The ashes from a flame cremation are mainly the mineral remains from the bone, along with some ash from the cremation box or casket, clothing, and anything else that may have been placed with the body. The ashes from flameless cremation are only the mineral remains from the bone.
The color of ash from a flame process is typically gray in color, from the carbon discoloration from burning. The color of ash from the flameless process is anywhere from white to a tan color.
The consistency of the ash is also different. The ash from flame cremation can be described as “chippy” bone fragments. The ash from alkaline hydrolysis is a homogenous (consistent) powder. With flameless cremation, there is 20-30% more ash remains returned to the family.
How much does it cost?
The cost of services and what is included in the price varies greatly by area and provider. Alkaline hydrolysis is comparable in price to flame cremation and costs significantly less than burial.
Do pacemakers have to be removed?
No. This is one of the greatest benefits of this process. Pacemakers and any other battery operated medical implants do have to be removed prior to flame cremation because the batteries explode at the temperatures used in the flame process. With Aquamation, the process is performed at a much lower temperature that does not react with the batteries. This means that the family does not have to incur the cost of pacemaker removal, nor does the loved one have to go through the surgical process of having the device removed. Operating staff are not at risk of injury. The pacemaker is recovered and recycled at the end of the process.
What happens to the water afterwards?
The water is returned to the ecosystem via the normal wastewater treatment facility, just as all funeral homes in the United States, Canada, and many other parts of the world do during the embalming process. The flameless cremation process produces a completely sterile solution of amino acids, sugars, nutrients, salts, and soap in a water solution.