The process was originally developed as a method of converting animal carcasses into plant feed, patented by Amos Herbert Hobson in 1888.    In 2005, Bio-Response Solutions designed, sold and installed the first alkaline cadaver hydrolysis system at Mayo Clinic, where it was still in use in 2019.  In 2007, a Scottish biochemist, Sandy Sullivan, founded a company that manufactured the machines and named the process (and the company) Resomation.  Yes, you can arrange a funeral service before or after the aquamation process if you want to bury or distribute the ashes in the presence of friends and family. Alkaline hydrolysis as a method of final disposal of human remains is currently legal in nineteen states.    Additional rules are pending in New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  The trial was legal in New Hampshire for several years, but under opposition from religious pressure groups, it was banned in 2008, and a proposal for legalization was rejected in 2013.   Alkaline hydrolysis has been used since the mid-1990s for cadavers donated for research at the University of Florida and since 2005 at the Mayo Clinic.  UCLA uses the procedure to dispose of donor bodies.  Alkaline hydrolysis (also biocombustion, resumation, flameless cremation, aquamation or water cremation) is a method of disposing of human and pet remains with laundry and heat and is an alternative to burial or cremation. Since laws and regulations regarding aquamation are constantly changing, those interested in the service should check with their state`s regulatory agencies. You will be able to provide the most up-to-date information on the end-of-life services that can be performed. Last updated: March 7, 2022Aquamation — sometimes called water cremation or flameless cremation — is legal or permitted on human remains in nearly half of U.S. states, with pending legislation in many more.
You can see that it is referenced by its technical name: alkaline hydrolysis. Aquamation has several environmental benefits. No fossil fuels are burned during the process, so there are no direct emissions. It also uses 90% less energy than conventional cremation, and unlike flame-based cremation, no mercury is released. In addition, the aquamation process uses less water than a single U.S. household consumes daily. Just as animals can be cremated, the aquamation process is also available for pets and legal in all states of the United States. The body of the animal is gently decomposed by alkaline hydrolysis in a small steel container.
Many people choose it as a more environmentally friendly option for their pet, which still allows you to take ashes with them to bury or keep in an urn. Learn more about Aquamation in this in-depth Q&A article. Saskatchewan approved the process in 2012, becoming the first province to do so.  Quebec and Ontario have also legalized the process.  A funeral home in Granby, Quebec, was the first in the province to receive an alkaline hydrolysis device.  As it is a relatively new process, aquamation is only available in certain states. Currently, these states include Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming. Laws are constantly evolving, so please check the regulations in your state. If your condition does not allow it, you may be able to have your body transported to a close state that allows aquamation. If you have a pacemaker, it needs to be removed before traditional cremation, which can increase costs.
This is because the pacemaker battery can explode at the high temperature used for flame burning. However, if you choose aquamation, your pacemaker can stay indoors because the temperature is lower and there is no risk of the battery exploding. Some prefer the idea that your body is not treated as much after death. On average, aquamation is slightly more expensive than conventional cremation due to the cost of the machines used. Typically, water cremation costs between $2,000 and $3,000, while flame cremation costs about $1,100 to $2,000. It`s important to keep in mind that a traditional burial can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $12,000. Aquamation is legal in the state of California. It is legal for pets in all 50 states and Canada.
Under California Governor Jerry Brown, AB 967 was passed, which legalized aquamation for pets and humans. It allows the use of water-based cremation, also known as alkaline hydrolysis, in California. Yes, aquamation is available for humans, but only in certain states, which we will list later in the article. Although this procedure was originally developed for animals, it has become an option for people looking for a gentler and more environmentally friendly burial alternative. Like most new concepts, aquamation is slowly becoming available to more people in more places. And like all other end-of-life services, aquamation is often subject to regulations in every state. Every year, more and more states allow aquamation and create their own rules for managing the procedure.