Can’t take cremations? Try deep-freezing
IN A chilling twist on the phrase “dust to dust”, funerals could soon end with a loved one’s remains being frozen to -200ºC and pulverised into powder.
Cryomation, a revolutionary, ecologically friendly alternative to burial or cremation, is set to become available in funeral parlours in Britain.
Plans for the world’s first “green crematorium” on the edge of a golf course in Edenbridge, complete with a chapel and café, are being considered by Sevenoaks District Council in Kent.
The Law Commission, the government body that reforms legislation, is drawing up regulations that will bring “freeze-dried” funerals under the law for the first time as the land available for traditional burials dwindles.
But critics say the innovation is “grotesque” and “undignified”.
The process has parallels with cremation but without the harmful emissions and pollutants.
In cryomation, the body is placed in an automated machine and bathed with pure liquid nitrogen, which takes about an hour to cool it to -192ºC.
The body crystalises and become brittle, allowing the remains to be crushed into particles.
Those particles are then freeze-dried to remove moisture, filters remove any medical implants such as hip replacements or teeth fillings, and the result is a pile of coffee-coloured granules that can be buried in a narrow, biodegradable tube.
One pioneer of the system, Suffolk-based firm Incinerator Replacement Technology, has received hundreds of thousands of pounds in government grants to develop a prototype and is close to perfecting the technology. – Mail on Sunday