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Old 01-12-2009, 03:54 PM   #1
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Crematorium to help heat homes in Swedish town

Crematorium to help heat homes in Swedish town - Telegraph

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Crematorium to help heat homes in Swedish town

A Swedish crematorium criticised for environmental pollution has come up with a novel way to save energy: it will heat buildings in the surrounding town from the crematorium furnaces.

By Joerg Michner in Halmstad
Last Updated: 7:12PM GMT 20 Dec 2008

Officials in the western Swedish town came up with the idea after a recent environmental review concluded that the crematorium's chimneys were pumping far too much smoke into the air. Inspectors said the crematorium would have to buy new ovens in order to meet basic environmental standards.

"It was when we were discussing all these environmental issues that we started thinking about the energy that is used in the cremations and realised that instead of all that heat just going up into the air, we could make use of it somehow. It was just rising into the skies for nothing," said Lennart Andersson, the director of the cemetery in the town of Halmstad. "For starters we will heat our own premises. But I hope we can connect to the district heating network in the future."

The plan in Halmstad - the hometown of Arsenal football star Freddie Ljungberg - could also help the crematorium save money.

Not only will it eliminate the facility's own heating bill, but it will also allow the crematorium to save money on cooling the smoke before it is released into the environment.

When a body is cremated, toxic materials are released from the corpse. For example, fillings in the teeth, when heated to high temperatures, release mercury. In order to filter out the toxic materials before they are released into the air, the crematorium must cool the smoke from around 1,000C to 150C. But, with the heat now directed into the public heating system, the smoke will already be much closer to 150C and the crematorium will spend less on materials, including water, to cool it down.

So far, Mr Andersson said, the plan has met with approval from locals in the town of 55,000.

"Of course it's possible that there will be some discussion about the ethics of this, but from our side, this is a purely environmental idea," he said. "There will be no difference in the ashes."

If the new heating system proves to be successful in the crematorium's own facilities, town officials have said they hope to tap into the new energy source by 2010.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:10 PM   #2
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:23 PM   #3
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