Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Cremate

Crematoriums in Denmark want to recycle their “waste heat” by distributing it into local heating systems. The Danish Council of Ethics didn’t have a problem with the idea, as the Economist reports, but it did advise that “burning granny especially to warm radiators would be indecent and illegal.” [%comments]

Eric M. Jones

SInce the body is 95% or so water, there is very little heat produced by the cremation directly. Indeed the waste heat comes from gas burners that are used to burn up the body and the heat goes right up the stack.

So yes, recycle some of that heat. Think of how much energy we would save when Obama's medical plan begins burning up our grandparents. (As I have heard...)

Jirka Lahvicka

Re [1]:
"The human body is about 60% water in adult males and 55% in adult females." (according to Wikipedia)

Blood is 95% water, but for example fat contains much less water and actually burns quite well.


Excess heat (and air conditioning) is top on my list of worst wastage. We use so much energy during the summer to keep cool while burning in the winter to stay warm. Fine, it's not like there's a way to store heat between seasons, but I like initiatives like this.

There was another European country in which heat from a computer datacenter is transferred to warm a local pool, which I think is just peachy. If only there was a way to get the heat generated by my computer to warm my coffee, or roast my dinner, we'd have a nice system going.