Science To Life

i-15f1c2708fdd64f6ff5afd1c25e2fdea-lye.pngThere may soon be a new (more eco-friendly) option in funeral services: dissolving bodies in lye and flushing the residue down the drain.

Lye is an alkaline chemical also known as sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and the process of using it to dissolve certain substances is called alkaline hydrolysis.

Alkaline hydrolysis has actually been around for years and is used in a variety of processes including the disposal of other biological and biohazardous waste. By avoiding the emissions generated during cremation, alkaline hydrolysis may be a more eco-friendly option.

Although the process is legal in two U.S. states, no funeral homes in the country currently offer it as a funeral service. Read about how this may soon change.

Comments

  1. #1 brian t
    May 15, 2008

    “By avoiding the emissions generated during cremation, alkaline hydrolysis may be a more eco-friendly option. ”

    Unfortunately, the chloralkali process used to make NaOH is not very nice: it uses huge amounts of electricity, and also produces pure chlorine, which has to go somewhere…

  2. #2 Kurt
    May 15, 2008

    Hey, isn’t that how “the cleaner” in La Femme Nikita disposed of bodies?

    Does not sound particularly eco-friendly, though.

  3. #3 Grieve
    May 15, 2008

    @brian_t – They are going to keep making all that lye to make soap anyway, so…

    I think this is a great option, and will write it into my will as my first choice if it is legal in my state when I die.

The site is undergoing maintenance presently. Commenting has been disabled. Please check back later!