Expert to talk on recycling heat from crematoriums

An expert in death studies at the University of Bath is to talk about how heat produced at crematoriums could be used to produce electricity.

Dr John Troyer, from the University’s Centre for Death & Society, has been researching the possibility for over a year and believes that one day it could potentially produce enough energy to sell back to the National Grid.

He will discuss his findings at the Knowledge Escalator Project South West conference at Somerset County Cricket Club in Taunton on Tuesday (27 Sept).

His work was based at Haycombe Cemetery and Crematorium in Bath and found that with transparency a new model can be produced for planning crematoriums which could include heat capture technology.

His findings follow media coverage from both Cardiff and Redditch where the local councils have proposed to use the energy produced during cremations to heat other council buildings including a swimming pool.

This met with resistance from some local people in those areas, but Dr Troyer’s research shows that transparency is the key to making it possible.

Dr Troyer said: “Introducing changes like this can cause initial shock, but like other changes I think it will soon become part of the funeral process and widely accepted.”
He said: “If the body is buried there is a transfer of energy but it is a much slower form.

“What this represents is a significant new way in thinking about the dead body and how it is taken care of.”

Dr Troyer’s research has been funded by The Knowledge Escalator Project. It is part financed by the European Union’s ERDF Competitiveness and Employment Programme 2007-13 securing £1,833,000 of ERDF investment through the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA).

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