How you would like your mortal remains to be dealt with, may be discussed with your family members to ensure that your final wishes are met. My Father~in~law had always said that he was totally unconcerned with what happened to his remains once he was gone, because he would no longer be here.
He even joked that we could pour him down the drain for all he cared.
His suggestion of this particular method of disposal may have seemed a rather irreverent idea to some, but infact it has become a reality, at least in St. Petersburg, Florida, where the body may now be disposed of by a process known as Alkaline Hydrolysis .
The remains are liquified by submerging the body in a solution of water and potassium hydroxide which is pressurised to 10 atmospheres and heated to 180C for between two-and-a-half and three hours.
Body tissue is dissolved and the liquid poured into the municipal water system. Mr Sullivan, a biochemist by training, says tests have proven the effluent is sterile and contains no DNA, and poses no environmental risk.
The bones are then removed from the unit and processed in a "cremulator", the same machine that is used to crush bone fragments following cremation into ash. Metals including mercury and artificial joints and implants are safely recovered.
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