Aquamation is something that has picked up across the world, and has now been introduced to Cape Town by a well-known funeral service. Avbob claims it is the first such service on the continent. The process makes use of pressure, heat and water with a high alkaline level to cremate corpses, rather than using fire.
This method of cremation saves 90% more energy compared to flame-based cremation.
During Aquamation, the body is placed in a stainless steel vessel before heat, pressure and alkaline water is added to reduce the body to water down to a molecular level. What is left behind is a benign sterile liquid, and this is disposed of through the municipal wastewater system. The bones, which are left behind, are turned into a fine powder, which can be stored in an urn as one would with ashes.
“Over recent years, people have become more aware of the fact that municipal cemeteries were running out of burial space in many of the major metropolitan areas. At the same time, people in general have become more conscious of the negative environmental impact from the burning of fossil fuels,” said Avbob CEO, Frik Rademan said to Business Insider.
“The provision of a dignified send-off for loved ones is something that has been part of our service offering since we first got into the funeral business over a hundred years ago, and it shall remain one of our most fundamental business values for the future. Against this backdrop, it is important that we find and introduce safe, environmentally friendly, cost-effective and socially acceptable alternatives to burials and flame-based cremation.”