Daily News Analysis


5th January, 2022 Environment

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Context: The body of Nobel Peace Prize winning Anglican archbishop and anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu underwent aquamation.


What is aquamation?

  • It is a green alternative to traditional cremation methods.
  • This “flameless cremation” is considered to be an environmentally friendly way to dispose of a body, the process is also known as water cremation, green cremation or chemical cremation.
  • In this alkaline hydrolysis process, body of the deceased is immersed for a few hours in a mixture of water and a strong alkali in a pressurized metal cylinder and heated to around 150 degree centigrade.
  • The combination of gentle water flow, temperature and alkalinity accentuate the breakdown of the organic materials.
  • The process leaves behind bone fragments and a neutral liquid called


Environmental importance:

  • This process is a greener alternative as it uses significantly less fuel and has an overall lower carbon footprint than cremation.