You may have seen water cremations (also known as Alkaline Hydrolysis) in the news lately. The UK may be set to offer this as a funeral option as early as 2023. When families are looking to arrange a funeral, the two current options are either a cremation or burial. Learn more about cremations and burials.
This additional cremation option is not yet available in the UK, however, it is currently a funeral option in other parts of the world including the US and Canada.
How Does a Water Cremation Work?
The process involves a loved one being placed in a steel chamber, and a 95% water / 5% potassium mix will then be added. The mix then gets heated to 160 degrees Celsius, because of the pressure in the chamber, the water will not boil. The process breaks down and dissolves tissues and will take between 4 – 14 hours to complete.
In comparison, the temperature of a traditional flame cremation can reach approximately 800 – 1,000 degrees Celsius, with the process taking between 1 – 3 hours. When opting for a burial funeral service, a body can take years to decompose.
Why Choose a Water Cremation?
One of the main reasons an individual may choose a water cremation is due to its reduced environmental impact. You can also see the current environmental funeral options we offer here at Green Willow Funerals
The energy usage is significantly less than that of a flame-based cremation, reportedly requiring one-tenth of the energy usage.
The process of water cremation does not require the use of fossil fuel nor does it produce emissions.
Cremations do not require burial plots, offering a space-saving funeral alternative to burial and preserving land resources.
The availability of water cremations including dates and locations are TBC.