Archbishop Desmond Tutu was given a humble send-off with his remains undergoing aquamation instead of cremation. It is an eco-friendly method and the process is different too. His remains were reduced to dust through aquamation, a novel cremation procedure that uses water.
On Sunday, family members gathered at St George's Cathedral to pay their goodbyes to anti-apartheid hero Archbishop Tutu, whose ashes were interred and set to rest in Cape Town.
It was the wish of Tutu that his funeral shall not be too grand with a lot of money spent on it. He also requested aquamation instead of cremation. He was an environmentalist and climate change activist; his request for eco-friendly sent-off was just another anecdote of his love for environmental betterment.
What is Aquamation?
Aquamation, also known as alkaline hydrolysis, is a method of cremation that uses water instead of fire. The deceased's body is immersed in a mixture of water and a strong alkali such as potassium hydroxide in a pressurized metal cylinder for three to four hours before being heated to roughly 150 degrees Celsius.
Except for the bones, the entire body is liquified throughout the procedure. The bones are dried in an oven before being ground into powder.