Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ooh, this is lovely:


Dead bodies could be freeze-dried, shaken to a fine powder and used as
compost under proposals to introduce a new, more eco-friendly method of
corpse disposal to the UK.

The process, which is known as promession, has been developed in Sweden.
Promession would help with the shortage of burial spaces and reduce the
mercury pollution created by dental fillings during cremation.

The process involves freezing the coffin and body to -18C before
lowering them into liquid nitrogen at -196C, which leaves them extremely
brittle. A vibrating pad reduces the remains to a powder and a magnetic
field removes all traces of mercury and other metal residues.

The remains are put into a biodegradable coffin made from vegetable
matter and buried in a shallow grave, where they will be absorbed into
the earth within six to 12 months.

+ The Scotsman, North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1YT, UK