A British company says it has an eco-friendly alternative to cremation: boiling bodies into dust.

In the process, called resomation, the body is encased in a silk coffin and submerged in water mixed with potassium hydroxide. It is then heated to 302 degrees Fahrenheit, which rapidly turns it into a white dust, The Mail on Sunday reported.

The process is more eco-friendly than cremation, during which a body is heated to 2,192 degrees Fahrenheit, letting off harmful fumes such as mercury, according to Resomation, the firm selling the boiling process. Instead, the company says, it is essentially a much faster version of natural decomposition.

Resomation also is affordable, costing about $600, the same as a cremation, the company said.

British authorities, who are encouraging alternatives to traditional burials for space reasons, have said they will consider any proposals.

About a thousand bodies in the United States have already been processed with resomation.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International