These days, economic concern figures highly in many of the decisions we make. We’re encouraged to buy environmentally-friendly vehicles, make use of renewable energy and now there is even a greener way of cremating dead bodies.

Resembling an over-sized washing machine, Resomation‘s s750 commercial body is an alkaline-based dissolving unit which could revolutionise the cremation process.

Resonation describes its process as being “both dignified and respectful” with “a number of environmental benefits”. According to CNET, the machine cuts greenhouse emissions by a third compared to cremation, and uses only one-seventh of the energy.

It is explained in full on the company website:

A funeral involving resomation is exactly the same as one involving cremation until the point at which the coffin is committed from view. In Resomation the coffin is placed into a Resomator, and instead of fire, uses a water and alkali based method – also known as alkaline hydrolysis – to break the body down chemically.

The process is normally 2-3 hours long, the same length of time as an average cremation and once complete, a sterile liquid and bone ash remain. The sterile liquid is returned to the water cycle and just like cremation the bone ash remains are placed in an urn and returned to loved ones.

While there is also a video demonstration for anyone who dares to learn more, though I should point out that it does not feature a real person.

The process of Resomation has caused significant controversy in many countries. While it is already regulated across seven states in the US – where it is know as Bio Cremation – the company is awaiting a response from the UK government, and parliament in its native Scotland, before any progress can be made in Britain.

Outside of the US and UK, other parts of the world are “a work in progress”, according to Resomation, who encourages those who feel strongly about the device to contact the relevant authorities in their country.

Despite having been developed since 2007, there is some way to go until alkaline-based cremation replaces the more traditional process.