Belgium considers proposals to dissolve bodies and flush them into sewage systems

Daily Mail:

Belgium considers proposals to dissolve bodies and flush them into sewage systems

[LEFT]It could hardly be said to be the most dignified of send-offs.
Undertakers in Belgium plan to eschew traditional burials and cremations and start dissolving corpses instead.
The move is intended to tackle a lack of burial space and environmental concerns as 573lbs of carbon dioxide are released by each cremated corpse.
The EU is considering proposals from Belgian undertakers to be allowed to dissolve dead bodies in caustic solutions
Under the process, known as resomation, bodies are treated in a steel chamber with potassium hydroxide at high pressure and a temperature of 180c (350f).
Although the ashes can be recycled in waste systems, the residue from the process can also be put in urns and handed over to relatives of the dead like normal ashes from crematorium farewells.[/LEFT]

I’m putting this in my growing “Just When I Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Worse” file.

From the article:

The end result is a small quantity of **green-brown tinted liquid **containing amino acids, peptides, sugars and salts and soft, porous white bone remains which are easily crushed.
The white ash can then be returned to the next of kin of the deceased.
**The liquid can be recycled back to the ecosystem **by being applied to a memorial garden or forest or simply put into the sewerage system.

They could make soylent green out of it and feed the population.

Before I even opened this thread…I knew it was going to be about Global Warming.:eek:

This is not to hijack this thread into a “Global Warming” debate, but the original posting raises a question that I’ve never heard answered. Let’s assume the average deceased Belgian weighs 200 lbs - probably a significant overstatement, but just the same: How can a 200 lb. corpse release “573 lbs of carbon dioxide?” So often in GW publicity, the “carbon footprint” of something is expressed in millions of pounds. So here’s a good “micro” example. How can something contain 3 times its own gross weight?

It’s the ‘carbon footprint’ of fueling the cremation process rather than the body itself.

The corpse itself doesnt release 537 lbs of carbon dioxide.

It’s the cremation process to get rid of the coprse that does.

One atom of carbon + two of oxygen. Atomic weight of 12 and 16 respectively. So CO2/C = (12+32)/12 = 3.67 time the mass of the carbon. The human body is 18% carbon…so 3.67X200X.18 = 132 lbs. Beats me. I guess you have to include the fuel burned, but I assume they would power the process with wind turbines or nuclear energy.

Putting all that leftover caustic liquid into the wastewater, doesn’t seem like a good idea. I think someone must be pulling our legs here. Combined with a little grease or oil, its going to foam like the devil in the outfall canal??

Here’s an excerpt from the MSDS on Potassium hydroxide solutions:
3. Hazards Identification
Emergency Overview


SAF-T-DATA™ Ratings (Provided here for your convenience)

Health Rating: 3 - Severe (Poison)
Flammability Rating: 0 - None
Reactivity Rating: 1 - Slight
Contact Rating: 4 - Extreme (Corrosive)
Storage Color Code: White Stripe (Store Separately)


  1. Accidental Release Measures
    Ventilate area of leak or spill. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment as specified in Section 8. Contain and recover liquid when possible. Collect liquid in an appropriate container or absorb with an inert material (e. g., vermiculite, dry sand, earth), and place in a chemical waste container. Do not use combustible materials, such as saw dust. Do not flush to sewer! US Regulations (CERCLA) require reporting spills and releases to soil, water and air in excess of reportable quantities. The toll free number for the US Coast Guard National Response Center is (800) 424-8802.

Yup…big improvement over that horrible poison CO2

It’s people! Soylent Green is people! It’s people!!1!11

:smiley: There’s a blast from the past.

It’s when people saying things like this, and I think wow yeah that was a great film for it’s time, and then I realise it was more than 35 years ago and I think Wow I’m getting ooooooooooooooooooold !!! :smiley:

The funny thing is that movie is way before my time, and I’ve never even seen it, but the quote is immortal :P.

Potassium hydroxide? Isn’t that lye, the stuff they make lutefisk out of? Now Belgium is wanting to make lute-human.

Truly this is sickening, and although the CC is losing its remaining grip over Europeans, I hope that it bans this outright. At least with cremation, all the cremains are supposedly pulverized and placed in an urn to be buried. This process leaves some bone fragment to crush and bury, as in cremation, but also a greenish-brown liquor to be poured down the drain into the sewer system? Come on! The body is a sacred vessel. When washing up after the Eucharist, we don’t even pour that water down the drain in case it has tiny elements in it.

Until the system is up and running (!), they could take all corpses to the zoo, and put them in the vulture cage, the lion enclosure, or the python cage. That`d be even cheaper and more environmentally friendly. The “ceremony” could be similar to a burial-at-sea ceremony. There could be a chute: “And as we commend the body to the den…”

The pet food industry, agricultural fertilizer… That`d be cheaper for the Mafia than concrete.

While I don’t find their idea edifying, since there is “a lack of burial space” and since the cremation process does release several hundred pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere, what’s your solution.

Finally, if Belgium is finding it difficult to even find burial space, at what point should population control, or that dreaded work, contraception, be considered, in Belgium? Has the church got an ethical answer to this conundrum?

To continue it has an area of about 30,000 square kilometres and nearly 11 million people.

30,000 square kilometres means about 300 x 100 kms, or about 187.5 miles long x 62.5 miles wide. So, at what point will the population continue to be sustainable? That’s for nearly 11 million people, who have to be fed, housed, heated, sewered, transported and as posited above, buried or disposed of in some way.

It’s not just a case of how many people you can squeeze a meter apart either. I lifted the following from a site on related to a supportable population. It takes 900 tonnes of water fro example to grow one tonne of wheat. These days it takes a joule of fossil fuel energy to provide a joule of food energy. And if everybody wanted to live at the American level, we’d need four earths.

“Joel Cohen, the Rockefeller University population biologist, argues in a 1995 book (How Many People can the Earth Support?) that it isn’t a question like “How old are you?” which only has one answer at any one time. Cohen argues that you could fit one billion people each a metre apart, into a field 32km square. So everybody in the world would fit easily into Yorkshire. But it takes 900 tonnes of water to grow a tonne of wheat, and there is only so much water, so much land and so much sunshine. Human action has its own “ecological footprint”; there has to be so much land to provide food, clothing, shelter, medicines, building material, fresh air and clean water for any one human. It takes, according to some calculations, 2.1 hectares of land and water to provide for one average human. The important word is: average. The American footprint is about 10 hectares. So if all humans lived at US standards, we’d need another four Earths.”

and from another site, the amount of water to produce a pair of jeans -

“Doing a bit of research online I found that the figures quoted on different websites varied between 2000 and 6000 litres of water for just one pair of jeans. I also read that to stonewash a pair of jeans takes an additional 20 – 750 litres! Just to put this in perspective the UN recommends that people need a minimum of 50 litres of water per day for the most basic needs such as drinking, cooking and sanitation. Millions don’t even have that.”

i gave it!!!
On this thread, the word “solution” looks inappropriate. At least you didn`t say “final solution”.

How long will it be before Belgium`s population is predominantly Islamic? Those folks might have an answer.

How many 'MacDonald`s" outlets are there in that part of the world? If they were all got rid of, that could free up a lot more burial space. People might also live longer…?

Finally, if Belgium is finding it difficult to even find burial space, at what point should population control, or that dreaded work,*** contraception***, be considered, in Belgium? Has the church got an ethical answer to this conundrum?

That`s out, for a start.

Seems simple to me. Bring back communal graves and recycle them every couple of generations. No more fancy caskets or concrete burial vaults. Just wrap the body in burial shroud, bury it and move on. Make the cemetery big enough so that every 30 years you start over. When digging graves the second (and third, and fourth, etc) time around and encounter bones, set them aside reverently and bury them in with the new corpse.

As far as I know, there is no requirement of our faith that says that a body must have a headstone and occupy a 3’x6’ piece of ground exclusively from burial to judgement day. We just need to treat the dead with the respect due to a temple of the Holy Spirit that will one day be restored to life and reunited with the soul. Sewage systems are not compatible with that respect. That’s where we put our feces, people.

Hi, Guyonthestreet,

Join the club!! :slight_smile:

Yes, that was a great movie … but, I guess we are all noticing that there is a certain blurring between the fiction of the movie and what we are seeing develop before our eyes.

God bless

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