A Swedish biologist, Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak, has spent 20 years working on form of corpse disposal called promession.
First freeze the corpse. Then vibrate it and dehydrate it until it’s dust. That’s promession. It’s possibly the most eco-friendly form of burial ever.
Most conventional coffins are not biodegradable coffins, so even though our bodies rot naturally, their natural ingredients can’t easily return to the soil, and the coffins themselves are not environmentally friendly, on the whole.
Cremation consumes energy and releases dubious substances into the atmosphere.
Wiigh-Mäsak’s promession process has six stages.
First comes coffin separation, in which the body is removed from the coffin it lay in during viewings or funeral services, and placed into the Promator machine, which processes the corpse.
Second, the body is deep frozen using liquid nitrogen, which turns it into a brittle block of frozen flesh.
Third, the Promator then shakes the frozen body into tiny chunks.
Fourth, these remains are freeze-dried to remove any excess liquid.
Fifth, the dried body is run through a process that removes any metals from the remains.
The sixth and final stage sees the remaining tissues being placed in a biodegradable container made of corn or potato starch. This is then buried in a shallow grave just 30-50 centimetres underground, in the the top soil.
Within 18 months the remains have turned into fresh new soil.
Picture source: Flickr