• Avbob has introduced a green alternative to flamed-based cremations.
  • It uses heat, pressure and water with a high alkaline level in the cremation process.
  • The company estimates that 20-30% more ash remains are returned to the family.
  • For more visit Business Insider South Africa.

You can now send your loved ones off with a green alternative to traditional flame-based cremation.

In a first for Africa, Avbob has introduced Aquamation, which uses heat, pressure and water with a high alkaline level in the cremation process. It is a saving of over 90% energy compared to using the traditional method. Also 20% to 30% more ash remains are returned to the family.

This follows the mutual assurance society’s recent introduction of the alkaline hydrolysis process at its Maitland agency in Cape Town. Alkaline hydrolysis, known as Aquamation involves placing the body in a stainless-steel vessel and then using heat, pressure, and water with a high alkaline level to reduce the body to its basic elements.

What's left is a benign sterile liquid, which is disposed of through the municipal wastewater system, and the remaining bone minerals are then processed into a fine powder. 

“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.

The introduction of Aquamation to South Africa has been in the making for six years, and involved intensive research.

Rademan says the new technology also had to take into account the rich diversity of cultures, religious practices and social norms of society.

“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.”

Compiled by Estrelita Moses.

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