What will become of your body when you die? Worm feast? Up in smoke? Cryogenic freezing?
The second option is becoming very popular. By 2025, more than 50 percent of dead Americans will be cremated, according to the Cremation Association of North America. If you've also decided to convert to ashes but don't want your vaporized mercury dental fillings polluting the air, here's a greener method to treat your remains.
Scottish firm Resomation has installed its first commercial body dissolving unit at a Florida funeral home, advertising it as a more environmentally friendly alternative to interment and cremation.
The Resomator s750 is a 7-foot stainless steel tank. It works by immersing the body in a mix of water and potassium hydroxide, which is heated to 356 F. It's also subjected to pressure equivalent to 10 atmospheres during the two- to three-hour process.
The mortal remains are turned into ash and sterile, DNA-free liquid, which gets flushed. Bones are crushed in a separate process, and any implants including mercury fillings are recovered. There are no airborne mercury emissions.
Resomation says its alkaline hydrolysis machines cut greenhouse emissions by a third compared to cremation, and use only one-seventh the energy.
Anderson-McQueen funeral home in St. Petersburg, Fla., is set to start using a Resomator. Staff were not immediately available for comment, but hydrolysis may be cheaper than cremation.
State officials in Ohio recently ordered a funeral director in Columbus to stop disposing of bodies with alkaline hydrolysis. The process is also used to deal with medical cadavers and animal carcasses, and applications have been made in several states to authorize the technology for human remains.
What do you think? Would you like to be Resomated after you depart for the great network in the sky?
Just don't forget to tell Facebook you're dead.