St. Pete's Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home first in the world to offer eco-friendly "bio-cremation" (video)

Creates about 75% less carbon output than standard cremations.

Posted by Katie Machol Simon on Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Classic_Pewter_Cremation_Urn_200x200M.jpg
It's great to see so many individuals, schools and businesses "going green" these days, whether that be by instituting recycling initiatives, cutting down their energy use or by using alternative and sustainable energy sources. Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home in St. Petersburg is doing their part to help out Mother Nature by offering customers an eco-friendlier alternative to the typical cremation process (which typically uses fire and gas): bio-cremation. And they're making headlines as they're not just the first in the state or country to use this process — they're the first funeral home in the world to do so.

To put it quite simply, bio-cremation uses the chemical reaction of pressurized water, potassium hydroxide and electric heat to dissolve the cadavers. It's very similar to what happens over a long period of time to a body that is buried, this new method just accelerates that process. But similar to standard cremations, what's left is some ash and bones that will be given to the family in an urn.

This Reuters article goes a little more in depth about bio-cremation:

"Under the new method, bodies are placed in a steel machine resembling an over-sized washing machine called the Resomator. The bodies are then immersed in a chemical bath and the remains are broken down by a process known as alkaline hydrolysis using water at high temperatures."

"The solution contains alkali, a substance found in cosmetics and liquid soaps. The whole process lasts about three to four hours, slightly longer than heat cremations."

The eco-benefits to this Resomator machine is that it uses far less energy than the typical cremation process and according to Steve Schaal, the head of Matthews Cremation who distributes the Resomator machines "reducing carbon output by 75 percent." Also, the chemicals used on the bodies can be safely be disposed of down the drain as it contains no harmful chemicals, toxins or waste.

"The solution that is discharged is a sterile-based solution. There is no DNA whatsoever because the process breaks down the body to the basic amino acids," stated John McQueen, the funeral home president.

"What goes into the waste water treatment system is probably cleaner than most things that go into the waste water treatment system from our house or hospitals or nursing homes or other places."

Watch the video below to see the process.

Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home: 2201 Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Street N., St. Pete, 727-822-2059, andersonmcqueen.com



Information via Reuters; photo: yourlovingmemorial.com

Add a comment