Ohio Bans Liquefication Of The Dead

1300895381990What is the simplest, cheapest, and most environmentally friendly option for dealing with a cadaver? Easy: turn it into a coffee-colored liquid which “can safely be poured down the drain.” Ohio has ordered a funeral parlor to cease liquefying corpses, however, though there is no law against it, Associated Press reports:

An Ohio funeral home that is the first in the nation to use a cremation alternative that dissolves bodies with lye and heat has effectively been blocked from using the procedure by state regulators.

Edwards Funeral Service in Columbus is the only U.S. funeral business offering the procedure called alkaline hydrolysis to the public, according to Jessica Koth, a spokeswoman for the National Funeral Directors Association. The process is touted by proponents as being better for the environment than cremation. While funeral homes in other states are moving toward the method, Edwards’ owner, Jeff Edwards, told the Columbus Dispatch that he has used the method on 19 bodies since January.

But a memo issued last week by the Ohio Department of Health has left Edwards unable to continue using the procedure. The health department’s memo directed local officials not to issue permits required for disposing of bodies or accept death certificates when bodies are to be disposed of through alkaline hydrolysis. Edwards told the newspaper he is considering legal action. “There’s no law that says you can’t do this,” he said.

Alkaline hydrolysis was developed in the U.S. in the early 1990s as a means to get rid of animal carcasses and has been used to dispose of human cadavers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Also known as resomation, alkaline hydrolysis uses a solution of water and lye, 300-plus degree heat and 60 pounds of pressure per square inch to destroy bodies in big stainless-steel cylinders. Left behind is a coffee-colored liquid that has the consistency of motor oil and a strong ammonia smell. Proponents say in most cases it can be safely poured down the drain and that, unlike cremation, the process does not involve fossil fuels or emissions.

Read More: Associated Press

58 Comments on "Ohio Bans Liquefication Of The Dead"

  1. If open air burials didn’t sound so appealing i might give this a shot.

  2. If open air burials didn’t sound so appealing i might give this a shot.

  3. Drinky McGee | Apr 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm |

    When liquefication is outlawed, only outlaws will be liquefied!

  4. Drinky McGee | Apr 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm |

    When liquefication is outlawed, only outlaws will be liquefied!

  5. I can imagine one day people will have their dead liquefied then rendered drinkable and mixed with whiskey and/or other liquor.

    Drink the Dead.

  6. I can imagine one day people will have their dead liquefied then rendered drinkable and mixed with whiskey and/or other liquor.

    Drink the Dead.

  7. New, from Campbell's... | Apr 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm |

    Soylent Green Soup!

  8. Anonymous | Apr 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm |

    Soylent Green Schnapps….

  9. Anonymous | Apr 11, 2011 at 8:02 pm |

    It probably makes great fertilizer. Pouring it down the drain seems somehow dangerous -not to mention gross. Makes more work for water treatment plants probably…

  10. GoodDoktorBad | Apr 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm |

    It probably makes great fertilizer. Pouring it down the drain seems somehow dangerous -not to mention gross. Makes more work for water treatment plants probably…

  11. So…no wakes held in the bathroom in the nearby future?

  12. So…no wakes held in the bathroom in the nearby future?

  13. So…no wakes held in the bathroom in the nearby future?

  14. The best part is freezing the resultant liquor afterward and making Mourning Pops! Tastes just like your dearly departed*!

    *and lye

  15. The best part is freezing the resultant liquor afterward and making Mourning Pops! Tastes just like your dearly departed*!

    *and lye

  16. Anonymous | Apr 11, 2011 at 10:53 pm |

    Jeff purchased CycledLife’s first system. We now only manufacture and sell Coffin Spa. Go to http://www.CycledLife.com for more details on this process.

  17. edgazvoda | Apr 11, 2011 at 6:53 pm |

    Jeff purchased CycledLife’s first system. We now only manufacture and sell Coffin Spa. Go to http://www.CycledLife.com for more details on this process.

  18. E.B. Wolf | Apr 12, 2011 at 2:15 am |

    Soilent Green smoothie anyone?

  19. E.B. Wolf | Apr 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm |

    Soilent Green smoothie anyone?

  20. Dude, isn’t that just cycled back into our water supply? That sounds gross. Do not want to drink your dead.

  21. Dude, isn’t that just cycled back into our water supply? That sounds gross. Do not want to drink your dead.

  22. I like the idea, but this article lacks an explanation of the materials specific interaction with water. Also, the statement,”unlike cremation, the process does not involve fossil fuels or emissions.” cannot be correct. How are they generating 300-plus degrees of heat without using fossil fuels?

  23. I like the idea, but this article lacks an explanation of the materials specific interaction with water. Also, the statement,”unlike cremation, the process does not involve fossil fuels or emissions.” cannot be correct. How are they generating 300-plus degrees of heat without using fossil fuels?

    • Seriously? granted you could argue they aren’t using solar power probably. But in terms of heat within the chamber, there are more then one ways to get heat….. Hence why you have electric and gas ovens…. Do you really think an electric stove/oven (at least in terms of the kitchen) uses fossil fuels? It ISN’T possible to power your home, that stove included, with solar panels and wind turbines? No fossil fuel….

      • Don’t be silly, where do you think most electricity (49%) comes from? Burning coal, the world’s most abundant FOSSIL FUEL. Not saying it isn’t possible to power a home without it but that’s not what we’re doing.

  24. I like the idea of dividing the liquified remains into lava lamps for each one of my kids.

  25. I like the idea of dividing the liquified remains into lava lamps for each one of my kids.

    • ArgosyJones | Apr 12, 2011 at 2:02 am |

      Except that the lamp would be full of a poo-coloured liquid instead of bright colored waxes, that sounds nice.

  26. I can think of a few other disgusting things that get poured down the drain…

  27. A friend who’s dealt with this says the liquid smells like cat piss. Wouldn’t make a great pop.

  28. Seriously? granted you could argue they aren’t using solar power probably. But in terms of heat within the chamber, there are more then one ways to get heat….. Hence why you have electric and gas ovens…. Do you really think an electric stove/oven (at least in terms of the kitchen) uses fossil fuels? It ISN’T possible to power your home, that stove included, with solar panels and wind turbines? No fossil fuel….

  29. Don’t be silly, where do you think most electricity (49%) comes from? Burning coal, the world’s most abundant FOSSIL FUEL. Not saying it isn’t possible to power a home without it but that’s not what we’re doing.

  30. ………….poop.

  31. ArgosyJones | Apr 12, 2011 at 6:02 am |

    Except that the lamp would be full of a poo-coloured liquid instead of bright colored waxes, that sounds nice.

  32. Simiantongue | Apr 12, 2011 at 11:02 am |

    Soylent green floats. Add a scoop of your favorite ice cream to the dearly departed’s tin cup.

    With a crazy straw of course.

  33. Anonymous | Apr 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm |

    This is a process that takes human bodies and liquifies them into a thick liquid – then sends them via the sewer to the wastewater treatment works that uses a highly energy intensive technology to extract the solids from the liquid to make sewage sludge. Heavy energy use at the plant includes rags removal, grit chambers, fat skimmers, clarifiers, and air bubblers.

    Then the sewage sludge goes into digesters …also high energy.

    Then the sludge may be trucked distant landfills, incinerators, or farm field
    All at public expense.

    With the huge energy footprint of sewage and sludge managment, the claims that there are no emissions and no fossil fuels involved in alkaline hydrolysis must be critically scrutinized.

    Other issues:
    Will the fatty syrupy corpse liquids resolidify in the cold and acid environment of the sewers?
    Will it clog the sewers?

    These issues need to be researched and addressed.
    What policies should govern how we treat the dead?
    What policies should govern what is allowed in the sewers?

    And what agency should examine the claims that this process is “green”?

  34. MaureenReilly | Apr 12, 2011 at 9:10 am |

    This is a process that takes human bodies and liquifies them into a thick liquid – then sends them via the sewer to the wastewater treatment works that uses a highly energy intensive technology to extract the solids from the liquid to make sewage sludge. Heavy energy use at the plant includes rags removal, grit chambers, fat skimmers, clarifiers, and air bubblers.

    Then the sewage sludge goes into digesters …also high energy.

    Then the sludge may be trucked distant landfills, incinerators, or farm field
    All at public expense.

    With the huge energy footprint of sewage and sludge managment, the claims that there are no emissions and no fossil fuels involved in alkaline hydrolysis must be critically scrutinized.

    Other issues:
    Will the fatty syrupy corpse liquids resolidify in the cold and acid environment of the sewers?
    Will it clog the sewers?

    These issues need to be researched and addressed.
    What policies should govern how we treat the dead?
    What policies should govern what is allowed in the sewers?

    And what agency should examine the claims that this process is “green”?

  35. I had not heard of this until now, probably wouldn’t have it done anyway

  36. I had not heard of this until now, probably wouldn’t have it done anyway

  37. I had not heard of this until now, probably wouldn’t have it done anyway

  38. Cosmic Litter | Apr 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm |

    I want my carcass shot into space. No box. No bag. Just my dead nakedness catapulted into the cosmos.

  39. Cosmic Litter | Apr 12, 2011 at 11:20 am |

    I want my carcass shot into space. No box. No bag. Just my dead nakedness catapulted into the cosmos.

  40. I think the issue is they don’t want the “mess” to mix in with the public water supply. They will probably be required to treat it as hazardous waste, which I tend to agree with.

  41. I think the issue is they don’t want the “mess” to mix in with the public water supply. They will probably be required to treat it as hazardous waste, which I tend to agree with.

  42. thank you for actually breaking down the list of questions this article fails to address.

  43. Mmharris2 | Apr 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm |

    Jeffery Dahmer would be proud

  44. Mmharris2 | Apr 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm |

    Jeffery Dahmer would be proud

  45. Iclavdivs | Apr 14, 2011 at 10:49 am |

    Thermal depolymerization would be a better bet.

  46. Iclavdivs | Apr 14, 2011 at 6:49 am |

    Thermal depolymerization would be a better bet.

  47. Anonymous | May 14, 2011 at 10:46 pm |

     SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!!111one

  48.  SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!!111one

Comments are closed.