Funerals could soon end with the remains of a loved one being frozen to –200C and pulverised into a powder.

Known as cryomation, the process is being considered as a greener alternative to burial or cremation.

The amount of land available for traditional burial is dwindling and cremation releases harmful emissions and pollutants into the atmosphere.

In cremation, the body is placed in a machine and bathed with pure liquid nitrogen, which takes about an hour to cool it to –192C (–313F). The body crystallises and becomes brittle, allowing the remains to be crushed into particles.

Those particles are then freeze-dried to remove moisture. Filters remove any medical implants such as hip replacements or teeth fillings, and the result is a pile of coffee-coloured granules that can be buried in a biodegradable tube.

Incinerator Replacement Technology, a Suffolk-based firm, has received hundreds of thousands of pounds in government grants to develop a prototype and is close to finishing the technology, which it said should cost much the same as cremation.

However, Anthony Kilmister, president of the Anglican Association charity, said: ‘This sounds like a grotesque way to treat the dead.’

What do you think?

– Daily Mail