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Credit: crematories.org

The liquid alternative to cremation and burial is offered by the world's first water cremation centre on the Gold Coast, utilizing a process that is natural, ethical and environmentally friendly.

John Humphries, chief executive of the Aquamation Industries said the service offered at the Eco Memorial Park at Stapylton near Dreamworld is the world's first of its kind.

He is confident that within a year, there will be 30 centres in Australia which will be providing the revolutionary service.

In America, it is predicted that within a decade cremations will not be used anymore due to strong public reactions.

Aquamation technology is also the way to solve the problem of state mercury pollution at crematoriums by 2012 as required by the new European regulations.

Aquamation uses a process called alkaline hydrolysis - the same natural process a dead animal goes through as it goes back to nature, said Mr Humphries.

The fluid equivalent of cremation is a much more natural, ethical and environmentally friendly approach that uses water instead of fire to return a body to nature, he added.

He explained that the completely natural process is put into a stainless steel tube where the body is washed for nearly four hours - where it undergoes a natural breakdown of tissue at a faster rate and even the Catholic church has given it a green light.

The inspiration of aquamation came from the the US-based experimental unit that utilizes extreme temperature and pressure to eliminate the infectious remains of mad cow disease-infected cattle.

He said they have just redesigned the method so that water breaks down the cells of the body, leaving the bones to be returned to the family in an urn.

The cost of aquamation is similar to that of cremation, but minus the harmful greenhouse gas emissions.