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Author: Subject: Go out like a scientist
The WiZard is In
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Go out like a scientist

Extracted from —
New Scientist
17 August 2011
Helen Knight
Future funerals: What a way to go

be liquefied rather than burned. The body is placed in a
pressurised chamber, which is then filled with water and
potassium hydroxide. After heating at 180 °C for about 3 hours, all
that remains is softened bones ready to be crushed up, and a
sterile, light brown soup of amino acids and peptides. This liquid
contains no DNA and can be safely disposed of down the drain, or
used as a fertiliser. The developer of the system, Resomation,
based in Glasgow, UK, has already installed one "Resomator" at
the Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home in St Petersburg, Florida. It
should be up and running by September. Another unit awaits
installation at a funeral home in Canada, and the company has
further orders in the pipeline, according to managing director
Sandy Sullivan.

Sullivan cannot confirm the cost of alkaline hydrolysis, as this will
be determined by the funeral company offering the service, but he
says it is likely to be similar to a conventional cremation in the UK.
That typically costs about £2500 ($4000), including the service and flowers - more expensive than the average cremation in the US, but still cheaper than a typical burial, which costs at least$7000. What's more, the overall carbon footprint of alkaline
hydrolysis is 34 per cent lower than that of cremation, according
to carbon-accounting firm Sustain, based in Bristol, UK. "With the
public becoming increasingly concerned about the environment,
this allows people to express that concern in their final act on the
planet," says Sullivan.

Addressing the same concerns in a different way, other innovators
have turned to freeze-drying. Swedish company Promessa
Organic, led by Susanne Wiighäsak, has developed a process in
which the corpse is first frozen in liquid nitrogen and then vibrated
to break it down into a powder. The powder is then heated under
pressure in a vacuum chamber so that the water evaporates off at
a low temperature. Next, a detector of the type used in the food
industry uses magnetic fields to seek out any metals and mercury,
which are removed. The remains, once powdered and purified in
this way, can be buried in a corn-starch coffin in a shallow grave,
where they will turn to compost within a year. "This really gives
people the chance to become soil again," says Wiigh-Mäsak. "It
means death is not the end, but the beginning of new life in the
soil." The company is hoping to build its first facility in Sweden by
the end of 2012.

Taking a similar approach, Cryomation, based in Woodbridge, UK,
plans to freeze corpses to -196 °C in liquid nitrogen, before drying
them in a vacuum. Working with researchers at the University of
Hertfordshire in Hatfield, and several commercial partners,
Cryomation has built a prototype device and plans to begin testing
it on human bodies later this year. "There does seem to be a
genuine interest in a third choice [to burial and cremation]," says
Cryomation's Richard Maclean. "We are not trying to replace
anything, but to offer an alternative that is better for the
environment." He points out that composting the freeze-dried
remains creates no atmospheric emissions. A recent study for the
UK's Carbon Trust that took into account the energy used in
producing the liquid nitrogen found that the process's carbon
footprint is just one-third of that generated by a cremation.

djh
----
Who is planning
on leaving his body
to a 15-year old
nymphomaniac.
Roger86
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I always thought from TV and from AMC's breaking Bad that humans dissolve in sulfuric or hydrofluoric acid

I'v had sulfuric acid drop on my hands and its not that powerful but in BB they dissolved Mike's body in hydrofluoric acid and it didnt even leave the bones, just pink solution
The WiZard is In
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 Quote: Originally posted by Roger86 I always thought from TV and from AMC's breaking Bad that humans dissolve in sulfuric or hydrofluoric acid I'v had sulfuric acid drop on my hands and its not that powerful but in BB they dissolved Mike's body in hydrofluoric acid and it didnt even leave the bones, just pink solution

Sorry using acid is an Urban legend — sodium hydroxide
is both efficient and inexpensive.

Price hydrofluroic acid. Not to mention it would be a bitch to
work with in the open in large quantities.

Perhaps one could use phosphoric acid and turn the body into candy.

Roger86
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Well, i wasnt being very serious, but... I was studying chemistry in school and i was bored, and i noticed there was a big fly in my gravimetric's work, so i decided to dissolve it in acid.

I remember that i used sulfuric acid, and it alone didnt do anything, but when i added HCL and HNO3 the fly dissolved really fast, with bubles fizzing out the test tube if you guys dont believe me then test yourself, id make a youtube video but i really dont have place to work with strong acids at the moment

But, have you watched breaking bad? because it's a about a chemistry teacher who starts a meth lab to care for his family, and if you make meth by the barrelfull the price isnt really an objectbut i believe your right about it being an urban myth, breaking bad really has a lot misinformation in it about the chemistry, i think its intended

DDTea
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Has anybody seen the BBC docudramas The War Game or Threads? They're variations on a similar theme: life after a nuclear holocaust.

One part from Threads stuck in my mind: a nuclear firestorm would burn all readily available fuel. What little remained would almost certainly be used for fueling farm machines for salvaging the harvest or other critical-need applications. Cremating the dead bodies would not be an option. Burying the dead would be a waste of man-power. The bodies were left to rot in the open, spreading diseases and contaminating the water supply.

With massive disasters like the earthquakes in Indonesia, Haiti, and Japan, I wonder if any serious research into post-disaster, high-efficiency body disposal has been conducted. It sounds morbid, but it would certainly be necessary.

With all the roadkill around and the inherent requirement for low-cost, readily-available materials, this might be a good (albeit morbid) project for the amateur chemist!

"In the end the proud scientist or philosopher who cannot be bothered to make his thought accessible has no choice but to retire to the heights in which dwell the Great Misunderstood and the Great Ignored, there to rail in Olympic superiority at the folly of mankind." - Reginald Kapp.
hissingnoise
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Going out like a scientist could be just as easily be used to rid yourself of some big lump of incriminating evidence?

[Edited on 20-8-2011 by hissingnoise]
The WiZard is In
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 Quote: Originally posted by DDTea Has anybody seen the BBC docudramas The War Game or Threads? They're variations on a similar theme: life after a nuclear holocaust. The bodies were left to rot in the open, spreading diseases and contaminating the water supply.

Human bodies spread far fewer diseases that living people.
There would be mass wise more animal bodies, except
for very local conditions the water supply would be unaffected/infected.
watson.fawkes
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 Quote: Originally posted by DDTea I wonder if any serious research into post-disaster, high-efficiency body disposal has been conducted. It sounds morbid, but it would certainly be necessary.
Do you require individual disposal / burial? Because if not, it seem hard to compete with a backhoe and plenty of quicklime, the tested mass-grave technology of genocide for decades.
The WiZard is In
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 Quote: Originally posted by DDTea Has anybody seen the BBC docudramas The War Game or Threads? They're variations on a similar theme: life after a nuclear holocaust. One part from Threads stuck in my mind: a nuclear firestorm would burn all readily available fuel. What little remained would almost certainly be used for fueling farm machines for salvaging the harvest or other critical-need applications. Cremating the dead bodies would not be an option. Burying the dead would be a waste of man-power. The bodies were left to rot in the open, spreading diseases and contaminating the water supply.

I would mention in passing — the science of what happens to
dead bodies is called taphonomy. The pioneering work on this
is —

Johannes Weigelt (1890-1958)
Renzente Wirbeltierleichen und ihre palöbiologische Bedeutung
Leipizig by Verlag von Max Weg (1927)

Recent Vertebrate Carcasses and their Paleobiological Implications
Translated by Judith Schaefer
University of Chicago Press 1989

The WiZard is In
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 Quote: Originally posted by DDTea One part from Threads stuck in my mind: a nuclear firestorm would burn all readily available fuel. What little remained would almost certainly be used for fueling farm machines for salvaging the harvest or other critical-need applications. Cremating the dead bodies would not be an option. Burying the dead would be a waste of man-power. The bodies were left to rot in the open, spreading diseases and contaminating the water supply. With massive disasters like the earthquakes in Indonesia, Haiti, and Japan, I wonder if any serious research into post-disaster, high-efficiency body disposal has been conducted. It sounds morbid, but it would certainly be necessary. With all the roadkill around and the inherent requirement for low-cost, readily-available materials, this might be a good (albeit morbid) project for the amateur chemist!

Title : ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PLANNING FOR POSTATTACK
CONDITIONS: SOME PROBLEMS, PROGRAMS, AND PRIORITIES

Descriptive Note : Final rept.

Corporate Author : RESEARCH TRIANGLE INST RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK NC OPERATIONS RESEARCH AND ECONOMICS
DIV

Personal Author(s) : Salmon, Raphael J.

Handle / proxy Url : http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/AD632865

Report Date : APR 1966

Pagination or Media Count : 82

Abstract : Conditions imposed by massive nuclear attack can be
expected to disrupt normal environmental health services of
communities throughout the United States, and to threaten the
health of surviving population. This study develops a framework
to help decision-makers evaluate postattack conditions relative
to environmental health. Review and analysis of existing
information on probable postattack conditions as they might
affect, and be affected by, personnel of local health
departments, public health organization, and resource
management practices is presented. Anticipated postattack
environmental health problems are identified, and priority
judgments are made on a comparative basis in terms of level of
gravity. Rationale supporting the judgments is included, and
both action and research programs to improve preparedness
re recommended. Important sources of data prescribed for this
study were the reports and working papers of an earlier U. S.
Public Health Service Project. 'Environmental Health Problems
in the Post Shelter Period'. In addition, four city health
departments were visited to assist in analysis of normal
environmental health conditions relative to those expected in a
postattack recovery period and of the ability of a local health
agency to cope with projected conditions.

===========
Under the best assumed postattack conditions, it is highly unlikely that
mortuaries could handle even their yearly number of dead within a period of only
a few days. Proportionate numbers of deceased professional personnel trained in
disposal of the dead probably would be among the tremendous number of immediate
dead resulting from thermonuclear attack. Heavy reliance therefore would have to
be placed on persons not trained in this function. Due to emotional aversions
and the generally distasteful sight and smell of bodies in various stages of
decomposition, it is likely that people would tend to avoid such work. Injuries
among the surviving population would further curtail recruitment of workers.
Damage to equipment also could be expected to inhibit disposal activities. Disposition
of the dead probably would be regarded by environmental health personnel
as less important than other activities necessary for survival, such as caring
for the injured and supplying food. Altogether, it is likely that there would be
considerable delay-time before complete disposition of all dead bodies could take
place.

Local public health personnel would be expected to assist in developing plans
for, and if, supervising, mass collection and disposal procedures in a postattack
situation. The ready availability of fuel and the fact that relatively little
movement of bodies would be required make cremation on obvious means of disposal,
however, most public health personnel are completely unfamiliar with this type of
activity. Administrative and executive procedures associated with disposition of
the dead, such as the usual identification of corpses, may have to be foregone or
drastically changed under emergency conditions.

The threat to environmental health from corpses in some stage of decay has
not been well studied. It is thought that a decomposed body is not a disease
carrier since putrefaction destroys any pathogen which may have been present.-'
Corpses may serve as food sources for small rodents. Usually, however, they would
be second choice to other foods, which would be readily available as a consequences
of attack damage. The worst threat posed by undisposed bodies would appear to be
the excrements voided by the deceased and the possibility of bodies serving as
breeding places and food sources for flies and other insects. With reasonable
mortuary precautions, it is expected that any such environmental health threats
associated wit disposal of the dead could be mitigated; thus this function is
viewed as third priority relative to other problem areas essential to survival.
Recommendations

1. Community action programs should include development of standby plans
based on facilities, equipment, procedures, and manpower projected to be
available for disposition of the dead under postattack conditions.
2. Research programs to increase preparedness in this area would benefit from:
a. Investigation of the effects of climate and other physical factors on
disposition of the dead under postattack conditions; and
b. Medium and long-range study of the possible environmental health effects
under stipulated postattack conditions of large numbers of undisposed
corpses in various stages of putrefaction.
497
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You could just gasify them, maybe Fischer-Tropsch the syngas into gasoline..
With supplemental hydrogen added you could get up to about 35-45 liters of gasoline out of grandma.
Then you can split it up into jars and send them to all the relatives.
Or if she preferred more excitement you could toss a 100g of metalized ETN into a bucket with it and watch her go up in a lovely mushroom cloud.
Fill molotov cocktails with her and start a riot if she was the rebellious type... I don't know.

[Edited on 20-8-2011 by 497]

A word to the wise: NEUROFEEDBACK

http://citizenworks.org/corp/dg/s2r1.pdf
http://www.newscientist.com/mobile/article/mg21228354.500-re...

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Saerynide
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With respect to the original article, wow, that is like desecration Not to mention disgusting

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BromicAcid
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 Quote: Originally posted by The WiZard is In Sorry using acid is an Urban legend — sodium hydroxide is both efficient and inexpensive. Price hydrofluroic acid. Not to mention it would be a bitch to work with in the open in large quantities. Perhaps one could use phosphoric acid and turn the body into candy.

The Acid Bath Killer managed to use acid to dispose of bodies. Getting acid or base on your skin for a few moments might leave a red spot but give it time and quantity and you'll go to mush.

Shamelessly plugging my attempts at writing fiction: http://www.robvincent.org
Rosco Bodine
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Recycling is an environmentally conscious "green" solution.

What shade of green would you like, perhaps soylent green?

argyrium
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British company's device operating in Florida.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14114555

an endless supply of soap...
Ozone
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Concentrate the amino acid mixture and use it to make Krab?

"Eat recycled food. It's good for the environment...OK for you."

-- from Judge Dredd

Don't suppose it would be much worse than melamine.

Eew, Eew, Eew.

-Anyone who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
--Albert Einstein
hissingnoise
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 Quote: Originally posted by Rosco Bodine What shade of green would you like, perhaps soylent green?

Oh, my G-a-a-a-d . . . [C.H]

Mister Junk Pile
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O-M-G ! Nukular bombs would incinerate everything so there would be no bodies to get rid of! Gosh dern, just think people!

I mean, do you really think there would be people around to worry about bodies after a nukular war? Geez...

"If the freedom of religion, guaranteed to us by law in theory, can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, then and only then will truth prevail over fanaticism." -Thomas Jefferson
Ozone
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Apparently, according to ICRP (which brought us the 70 kg standard-man), the average life-span of a Chemist is 65. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, friends

Cheers,

O3

-Anyone who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
--Albert Einstein
peach
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 Quote: "With the public becoming increasingly concerned about the environment, this allows people to express that concern in their final act on the planet," says Sullivan.

Pushing it on that is a low blow!

What's even more green is burying them in the ground.

 Quote: still cheaper than a typical burial, which costs at least $7000 It does if you're after something fancy. It does not cost$7000+ to bury a homeless guy.

And who's after dignity and a personal grave when they're contemplating being poured into the sewers as a soup?

That's got to be the shittiest burial ever.

Yes, it's cardboard.

 Quote: "It means death is not the end, but the beginning of new life in the soil."

That's kind of the way nature operates without them messing around in the middle of it, charging people for the pleasure.

[Edited on 30-9-2011 by peach]

Mister Junk Pile
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Very good points, Peach. I would've said the same things, just with less articulation.

"If the freedom of religion, guaranteed to us by law in theory, can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, then and only then will truth prevail over fanaticism." -Thomas Jefferson

 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Non-chemistry » Legal and Societal Issues » Go out like a scientist Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues