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UK Crematorium looking to cash in on death gas

December 2, 2011

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Talk about looking in all the wrong places.

According to Mother Jones, a crematorium in the United Kingdom is looking in to using the gasses that are used for cremation to produce energy.

The Durham Crematorium plans to install turbines in two of its burners which will use the heat generated during cremation to create nearly enough energy to power 1,500 TVs, the Telegraph reports.

“If there is genuine spare capacity to generate electricity then we are certainly interested in investigating that [and] if it was thought to be acceptable in the eyes of the public we would almost certainly pursue that,” Alan José, superintendent at Durham Crematorium, said in an interview with the Telegraph. “Apart from it being common sense for us to try to conserve energy, it also enables us to keep the fees down…We don’t want to become known as a power station rather than a crematorium because we try to provide a reverend and decent place for people to have a cremation service.”

It’s all part of its $3.6 million furnace replacement project and it plans to sell off the power generated to the UK’s National Grid. It would keep a third of the energy generated to heat its own offices and chapel.

Many crematoria in the United Kingdom are updating their furnace programs to meet new government standards on the amount of mercury the emit. According to the Telegraph, up to 16 percent of mercury emissions in the United Kingdom actually come from crematoria because of fillings in teeth (insert British dental humor here.)

In a suffering world economy, and in a nation where more than 70 percent of dead bodies are cremated, it may not be a bad idea to put that unholy gas to good work.


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