You know there are a few different kinds of cremations at funeral homes in Penn Township, PA, but did you know there’s a new kind called aquamation?
Water cremation, or aquamation, is a process that breaks down a body after death. It involves water, heat, and chemicals, unlike standard cremation that just uses heat. The aquamation process is actually quite simple. During the process the body is placed in a steel chamber. The chamber is then filled with an alkaline solution made up of 95% water and 5% potassium hydroxide and raised to a very high pressure to prevent boiling. The chamber, and the body in the solution, is then heated to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time, from 4 to 16 hours. The heat, pressure, and solution work together to break down the body, leaving only the bones. The body slowly dissolves, and the bones, once removed from the chamber, crushed into ash, and returned to the family just like in a traditional cremation. This list of common questions can give you more information about aquamation:
- What Happens to the Water Left Over After an Aquamation? – As the water left over an aquamation no longer contains any alkalis, it can be returned to the natural ecosystem just like water from a sink or a toilet – through the standard wastewater treatment facility.
- Are Aquamation Remains Safe? – Aquamation remains are 100% safe as they are simply a mixture of bone materials, minerals, and calcium phosphate. They are also disease and pathogen-free, which makes them, in many ways, safer to handle and be around than a dead body.
- What Can be Done with the Remains? – Aquamation ashes are very similar to remains left after a standard cremation, so they can be treated like standard cremation ashes. However, aquamation remains are much lighter in color and in texture than classic cremated remains. Cremated remains made from flames are often darker and denser from the various combustion reactions that occur when the body is heated under extreme temperatures. They can be kept in an urn, buried in the ground, or scattered in a special place.
- Does Aquamation Use Acid to Dissolve the Body? – No, there is no acid used in an aquamation. In fact, the process of alkaline hydrolysis uses a material called an alkali, which is actually the exact opposite of an acid. The combination of chemicals and water work together to naturally dissolve the body without the use of acid.
- Is Aquamation Safe for the Environment? – Yes, aquamation is safe for the environment. The solution used in aquamation, a mixture of 95% water and 5% alkali, is completely natural and safe. And, even if it wasn’t, by the end of the aquamation process the alkalis are completely used up. So, all that remains at the end of an aquamation is water, bones and dust.
Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help if you have more questions about aquamation or Penn Township, PA funeral homes. We have the experience necessary to act as an authority and provide you with superior service no matter what your funeral or cremation needs may be. Call or visit us today.