Aquamation has many names – Alkaline hydrolysis, resomation, water cremation, dissolution and aquamation. All of them refer to the same process – reducing the human body “ashes” by removing the soft tissue in an alkaline solution.
Because this technology is new to our industry, everyone has been struggling for the past 5-10 years trying to figure out what to call it. One of the first tank manufacturers trademarked the name “Resomation” and it probably would have stuck, but for the fact that they legally locked it down.
Those that wanted to give it some familiarity, called it “water cremation”. Not bad, we suppose, but the real challenge here is that water cremation implies, somehow, that there’s still a flame involved somewhere.
Alkaline hydrolysis is the name of the actual process, but lets face it. There’s nothing sexy to a marketing department in a chemical process as a name. And it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue or even tell the average person just what is being presented.
Dissolution is the legal term that Oregon has landed on for the process. We really loathe the term, but because it has to be on all of our authorizing documents, we’ve kept it sprinkled around so that it isn’t some kind of weird surprise to see it in writing.
Aquamation, while awkward in it’s own right, seems to us to strike a balance between a familiar word, a new process, and the integration of “water’ into the term itself.
So there ya go. If you think of something better, feel free to let us know. Or the New York Times.