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What is aquamation? The process behind Desmond Tutu’s ‘green cremation’

The anti-apartheid hero requested an eco-friendly cremation, which uses water instead of flames to process the remains

The body of Archbishop Desmond Tutu will undergo aquamation, an increasingly popular and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cremation methods, using water instead of fire.

With aquamation, or “alkaline hydrolysis”, the body of the deceased is immersed for three to four hours in a mixture of water and a strong alkali, such as potassium hydroxide, in a pressurised metal cylinder and heated to around 150C.

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