Exploring Cremation As Part Of Your Final Needs Plan? Understanding The Options

Pre-planning is a great way to make sure that your wishes will be honored after your death while also relieving your family of the burden of making funeral arrangements during the difficult days immediately following your passing. During the pre-planning process, it will be necessary to make several decisions, including whether you will have a traditional funeral followed by a burial or whether a cremation would be the best option. Since many people do not have a deep understanding of the types of cremation processes that are available, the following information can be helpful for those who are working to develop their final needs plan. 

Conventional cremation

The most commonly used form of cremation uses a chamber equipped with an industrial furnace that is capable of reaching temperatures sufficient for the incineration of human remains. A primary and secondary combustion process takes place over a few hours that assures that bone shards will be all that remain at the end of the cremation process. Once the chamber has cooled, the remaining bone shards are pulverized into ash so that they can be returned to the family as cremains. 

Alkaline hydrolysis or liquid cremation

One of the lesser-known forms of cremation is done through the use of a process called alkaline hydrolysis. Also known as liquid cremation, the process uses both water and alkali along with heat and pressure to decompose the remains in a short time, usually a few hours. Once the process is complete, only sterile liquid and bone fragments will remain. As in a conventional cremation, the remaining bone is pulverized to ash and the cremains are returned to the family. 

Alkaline hydrolysis is considered to be more eco-friendly than standard cremation processes because the sterile liquid that remains in the chamber can be safely recycled through standard wastewater recycling systems. Additionally, this type of cremation requires far less energy to complete because it does not require a furnace chamber that must be fueled by propane or other fossil fuels. In addition to requiring less energy for the process to complete, a cremation performed by alkaline hydrolysis does not release emissions into the atmosphere that often contain harmful mercury particles. 

The choices you make while creating a plan for your final needs will require good information and careful thought. To learn more about both types of cremation and how each process is completed, take time to sit down with a caring funeral director who can offer detailed answers to the questions you may have.