Concord, N.H.

N.H. Senate rejects chemical cremation


The New Hampshire Senate rejected a proposal Thursday to legalize a chemical cremation process that dissolves human remains into a soapy liquid, citing fears that the byproduct could enter groundwater if not disposed of properly. The Senate voted 16 to 8 against a House-passed bill that would have legalized a process known as alkaline hydrolysis. It uses lye, 300-degree heat, and 60 pounds of pressure per square inch to dissolve bodies in big stainless-steel cylinders. It breaks down the body’s proteins into a dark brown liquid with the consistency of motor oil and a strong ammonia smell, leaving behind bone fragments. Those fragments are then powdered, using the same method as fire cremation, and can be returned to the deceased’s family.

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of