Resomation: an Eco-Friendly Alternative to Cremation? | Phaneuf
Call Our Care Team: 1-800-742-6383

Resomation: an Eco-Friendly Alternative to Cremation?

What is resomation?
Resomation is an alternative process for the disposal of human remains using alkaline hydrolysis.  The process was first proposed as a method of disposing of cows infected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) because the end product is a sterile, genetically-free green-brown liquid, containing ash, chemical components (amino acids, peptides, sugars, salts), and porous bone fragments. The creators, the British firm Resomation Limited, claim the process is much more ecologically friendly than cremation.

The body is placed into a silk bag within a metal frame, then lowered into the resomation chamber. The chamber is filled with a high-temperature (160 degrees Celsius) mixture of water and potassium hydroxide which is pressurized to prevent boiling, and the process takes approximately three hours. The bone ash is generally processed in a cremulator and can be scattered just like cremated remains, and the liquid recycled back into the ecosystem.

What are the Benefits?
Unlike cremation, resomation sterilizes rather than destroying bone implants, leaving them potentially recyclable, and it doesn’t vaporize the toxic mercury found in dental fillings. While some proponents of resomation argue it is better for the environment because the process uses less energy and produces less carbon dioxide than cremation, there is still a significant energy draw to heat and pressurize the water in the resomation chamber.

Does Phaneuf Funeral Home Practice Resomation?
While I have been interviewed on WMUR and have been quoted in the Union Leader and Concord Monitor that I do support the right of the individual to choose resomation, it is not legal in the State of New Hampshire, so Phaneuf is currently unable to offer this service.

Where is Resomation Legal?
Currently, resomation is legal in Minnesota and in Florida and is currently being used on cadavers for funeral practices and for research purposes.  In New Hampshire, the process was legalized in 2006, but this decision was reversed in 2007 because it was introduced into legislation that was created to regulate cremation, and the actual resomation process bears very little resemblance to cremation.  Similar legislation is currently proposed in a bill headed for an Assembly vote in California that seeks to broaden the definition of cremation to include the use of either fire or water.

  • What are your cremation options?

    Every day, the cremation options grow in the United States and around the globe, but misconceptions remain. Some believe it’s just a cremation, no service, no memorial, no opportunity for friends and family to sayRead more

  • Smart Sustainability for Cremation Business

    A quarter century ago when I started in the funeral and cremation business, burials accounted for 85% of industry business, though in NH a slightly higher 20% of families chose cremation for their loved ones.Read more

  • Is cremation jewelry creepy?

    Cremation will soon outpace traditional burial as the end-of-life choice for most Americans. The growth of cremation has come with a variety of options for cremated remains, the granular particles left after the cremation process.Read more

  • What is Direct Cremation?

    Nearly 80% of New Hampshire residents choose cremation instead of a traditional funeral service, and the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) predicts that the national cremation rate will reach 85% by the year 2035. ThereRead more

  • How Cremation Works

    More and more people are asking about how cremation works when they start thinking about end-of-life planning. Cremation has become a more-economical approach to a burial, and that is one of the top reasons itRead more

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Our Blog

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.