Also known as Alkaline hydrolysis, this process uses water, alkaline chemicals, heat, and sometimes pressure and agitation, to accelerate natural decomposition, leaving bone fragments and a neutral liquid called effluent. The decomposition that occurs in alkaline hydrolysis is the same as that which occurs during burial, just sped up dramatically by the chemicals. The effluent is sterile, and contains salts, sugars, amino acids and peptides. There is no tissue and no DNA left after the process completes. This effluent is discharged with all other wastewater, and is a welcome addition to the water systems.


  • There are several reasons people give for choosing alkaline hydrolysis, when available, instead of traditional flame-based cremation.
  • It is viewed as a gentler process
  • The process is more environmentally friendly. It uses significantly less fuel and has an overall lower carbon footprint than both traditional cremation and burial.
  • Some people want cremation but are afraid of fire and see it as a good alternative.
  • It is a new alternative to existing forms of disposition.