New form of burial freeze-dries bodies, turning them into plant food

A Swedish and an Irish company have been developing and providing new forms of burial.

SWEDEN (Next Online) – Swedish and an Irish company have been developing and providing new forms of burial.

Promessa Organic from Sweden, led by biologist Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak, has developed what they’ve called Promession, a method by which the human body is converted into powder, dried and eventually turned into organic matter that converts into soil within a year.

Similar to the process of freeze drying, promession involves a system called the Promator in which the body is first frozen to minus 18 degrees Celsius and submerged in liquid nitrogen. The body is refrozen as the liquid nitrogen evaporates into harmless gas.

The brittle body then is vibrated and transformed into organic powder. The powder is taken to a vacuum-sealed chamber where water is evaporated. Afterwards, mercury, allegan, sodium and over 50 other foreign substances are removed. The remains are packed into an organic coffin and buried at the family’s request. After a year, the remains turn into soil, which can feed a tree.

The company has also developed an improved “clean cremation” where the dry and metal free remains that exit the Promator system are burned. This clean cremation can guarantee Zero Mercury and avoid the production of dioxins.

Irish company EcoLegacy offers a similar burial service. Their process, which they’ve called EcoLation, is similar to Promession, except the energy that is expelled in the process is turned into energy reused in future processes.

Both processes differ and are more ecologically friendly than traditional burial and cremation. In traditional burial, coffins and chemicals (formaldehyde) are introduced into the environment. In cremation, heat energy is consumed and toxins are released to reduce the body into ashes, which are waste products that contain no organic material.

SOURCES: Promessa; Wired;; University of Oxford; Death Lab; BBC; EcoLegacy