- Egidius Kuhlmann
founder Stichting Pyrolysium, pyrolysium.org
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Pyrolysium wants to introduce pyrolysis as an energy-efficient green way to deal with human remains.
Pyrolysium promotes the pyrolysis of human remains as a corpse disposal method that is environmentally friendly, energy efficient, rational, robust and sustainable in a low tech environment.
We discovered that dehydration would be a gigantic energy saver but in the current practices hygienic and time constraints prevent this. Locking the corpse in a steel pyrolysis chamber for the whole duration of the process eliminates these constraints. Most bacteria living inside a human body are mesophiles, which thrive between 25 and 40 degrees, or thermophiles, with an optimum from 50 to 60 degrees. During the dehydration stage the pyrolysis chamber is kept at a temperature of 85 degrees Celsius. This stops the bacteria from decomposing the body and causes the cell membranes to lose their integrity.
The resulting dehydrated body is almost exothermic, meaning that nearly enough gas comes free to provide the energy needed to keep the pyrolysis process going. The hydrogen gas and other volatile carbon gases that are formed during the pyrolysis process are low in volume and easier to scrub of mercury vapor compared to the whirlwind produced by a cremation furnace that can exceed 1500m3 per hour.
Locking the bodies in separate steel pyrolysis chambers also provides the opportunity to make it a continuous process, preventing the heating and cooling cycles for retrieval purposes that are the current practices in crematoriums, making the process much more efficient.
In areas with abundant sunshine the heat-driven process of pyrolysis process could be completely solar-powered, preventing the formation of CO2 altogether.