Is Water Cremation Acid Based?
Resomation, also known as water cremation, is a modern method of disposition that uses water instead of fire to break down the body of the deceased. The process involves placing the body in a specialized machine called a resomator, which is filled with a mixture of water and alkali. The machine uses heat and pressure to accelerate the natural process of tissue breakdown, resulting in a sterile liquid substance and bone fragments. One common question about resomation is whether water and salt are used to compensate for the lack of acid in the process, and if so, how it works.
How Resomation Works
Firstly, it's important to clarify that resomation does not use an acid-based compensation mechanism. In traditional cremation, the high temperature of the flames and the use of acid-based chemicals serve to break down the body's organic matter, leaving behind only the mineralized bone fragments. Resomation, on the other hand, uses a combination of water and an alkali such as potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide to achieve a similar result. The alkali acts as a catalyst to accelerate the breakdown of the body's proteins, fats, and other organic matter, resulting in a sterile liquid that is similar to the liquid that results from natural decomposition.
The use of water and an alkali mixture in resomation serves several purposes, including compensating for the lack of heat generated by flames. The resomator uses a combination of heat and pressure to achieve the desired breakdown of the body, but the temperature used in resomation is much lower than that used in traditional cremation. By adding an alkali to the water used in the process, the resomator is able to achieve a more efficient breakdown of the organic matter, while the water helps to maintain a constant temperature and prevent any burning or charring of the body.
Water and Salt in Resomation
In terms of compensation, water and salt are used in resomation to maintain the proper pH balance and prevent any unwanted reactions between the body and the alkali mixture. The pH of the body's fluids is normally around 7.4, which is slightly alkaline. The alkali used in resomation has a pH of around 14, which is highly alkaline. To prevent any damage to the body's tissues and to ensure a safe and effective breakdown of the organic matter, the pH of the water used in the process is adjusted to a level that is slightly acidic. This helps to neutralize the highly alkaline alkali mixture, resulting in a safe and efficient breakdown of the body's tissues.
In addition to maintaining the proper pH balance, salt is added to the water used in resomation to help conduct the electrical current that is used to heat the mixture and accelerate the breakdown process. The salt also helps to enhance the conductivity of the water and ensures that the heat generated by the process is distributed evenly throughout the resomator.
In conclusion, resomation is a safe and effective alternative to traditional cremation that uses water and an alkali mixture to break down the body's organic matter. While it does not use an acid-based compensation mechanism, the use of water and salt helps to maintain the proper pH balance and enhance the conductivity of the mixture. This results in a safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly method of disposition that is gaining popularity around the world.