Can an artificial hip help power a jet plane?
It’s a tantalising thought. The artificial hip that could help us to walk in later life might one day power something a good deal faster than a human being. The recycling of prosthetics such as titanium hip replacements and cobalt chrome knee joints from crematoriums is a growing trend across Europe. Orthometals, the company behind the recycling, says over half of Britain’s 272 crematoriums have signed up to the scheme, which last year helped recycle 450,000kg of metal. The metal is first sorted, then sold on to a foundry. Some of the higher value metals are then sold on again to casting companies to be made into component parts for the aerospace industries, such as aircraft turbine blades and engines. Even cheaper metals like steel (used in the plates that hold legs and skulls together) are smelted down and reused in road signs and lamp posts.