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I am an architecture student doing a project on crematorium spaces. I am looking at resomation or alkaline hydrolysis as an alternative method of disposition of a body. From what I gather from research, the funeral parlours offering the resomation service uses 80 gallons/ 300 L of water for each body. I am just wondering if in theory such an enormous amount of water could be replaced with seawater? Or does the salinity or pH of seawater inhibit the process?

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting! This is not an answer, but there's a master thesis on the Environmental impact of funerals that you might find useful. $\endgroup$ – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Dec 4 '16 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ What concentration of hydroxide does the job? $\endgroup$ – Waylander Jan 19 '18 at 14:37
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I believe that desalination would be necessary as the salinity of the seawater would interfere with the earth metal salts already utilized to perform the process of alkaline hydrolysis.

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The average pH of sea water is approximately 8. Thus, it is alkaline to begin with, so I don't see how it would be detrimental to replace typical water with sea water in the process described. Further, the salinity should not adversely affect the interaction of lye with tissue, as far as I can determine. Thus, in theory, one should be able to replace water with sea water in this context.

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