Image: Hub Pages
Arts and Literature have given us Soylent Green and The Matrix, suggesting human bodies as raw material. Usually this makes people grimace and shiver. But in the Swedish town of Halmstad, it will soon make people warm and cozy. Halmstad officials required improvements at the local crematorium after environmental monitoring indicated too much smoke was going out the chimneys. After planning for the improvements started, well...one thing just lead to another.
It was when we were discussing all these environmental issues that we started thinking about the energy that is used in the cremations and realised that instead of all that heat just going up into the air, we could make use of it somehow. It was just rising into the skies for nothing," said Lennart Andersson, the director of the cemetery in the town of Halmstad.
Because cremation of human remains can release toxins, like mercury from dental fillings, the filtration of the off-gases is extremely important. In order to effectively clean the emitted gases, they must be cooled from around 1000°C to under 150°C. Recovery of this heat for warming first the crematorium buildings and later to feed the public heating system will save costs and use less water as well.
Thanks to tipster Thiess!
More on Green After Life:
BLDG BLOG, Warmed by Crematorium
How to Go Green: Funerals
Green Eyes on: Green Funerals
TreeHugger Forums: How to green your funeral
Crematorium Delays Burning Bodies to Cut CO2
EcoffinsUSA: Biodegradable Caskets
Green Your Death - Efficient Cremations
More on Harnessing Human Energy:
Moving Bodies Help Warm Stockholm Building
Human Poop and Urine Provide Cheap Biogas Source in Uganda
BioTown USA: Going Off the Grid