Some local governments in England are considering whether to have crematories use the waste heat (created by burners to cremate bodies) to fuel the systems that provide heat to the rest of the funeral complex.

There’s a full article here.

Interestingly, the response on the Internet has been split, based mostly upon how the idea is presented.  When the headline reads more like “Cremated bodies to provide warmth” people write angry responses and demand a change.  When the headline is more cautious, like “Excess Heat from Crematory Spurs Green Push” you get a more reasoned response.

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 The fact remains, the heat is created not by the body being cremated (which requires energy and fire to burn) but by the burners in the crematory.  The heated air would not be cycled into the building (ewww!) but allowed to rise out of a stack, at which point it would contact pipes filled with cold water.  The heat would be transferred to the water and piped to another area where the heat would be used to power a heating system.

We release HUGE amounts of energy into the world when we burn remains.  It seems to me that recapturing some of that energy (without trapping any of the cremated remains or any of the minute particles that are expelled into the air) is a very smart idea. 

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