Hydrogen energy being tested to potentially “green up” cremation



In what is what we believe to be a first around the world, the Worthing Crematorium in southern Great Britain has become the first to have one of its cremation chambers switch to hydrogen energy.  In what has became known as the “Worthing HyCrem Project”, one of the three cremators at the Worthing site is being powered exclusively by hydrogen energy for a four-week period.


According to this news release from the Councils of Adur and Worthing, “The new process uses green hydrogen, which is produced using electricity from renewable sources. Unlike natural gas, hydrogen doesn’t give off carbon emissions when burnt. Green hydrogen is also produced without any carbon emissions”.


The HyCrem project has been in development for over a year and is a joint effort of many including the Worthing Borough Council and Net Zero Associates.  It is hoped that this process will help the Worthing Borough Council become carbon neutral by 2030.  Abigail Dombey, the HyCrem project manager at Net Zero Associates said this about the effort, “The transition to net zero will involve all areas of the economy, including cremations. It’s incredibly exciting to be part of this project which will identify how we can do so – and is even a world first.”


The project is being funded by a US$ 1.4 million package that was awarded by the Great Britain Department for Energy Security.  The University of Brighton will be monitoring the air quality throughout the four-week trial and will identify any changes in emissions.  A business case will be developed to permanently reduce emissions at the crematorium using the most appropriate technology once the findings of the project have been evaluated.


Councillor Sophie Cox, Worthing’s cabinet member for young people, community, and climate made this comment about the hydrogen power cremation project, “We’re thrilled to be part of this world-leading project, which will help us and other local authorities deepen our understanding on how to use technology to reduce carbon emissions at energy-intensive buildings like crematoria.”


Tom Anderson
Funeral Director Daily

Funeral Director Daily:  I’m the wrong guy to ask about this process because I’m not very scientific.  However, I believe that most people around the world are all for clean energy as long as it can be produced as inexpensive as fossil fuels and given a choice, when convenience is not interrupted by that choice, most people would opt for the “cleaner or greener choice”.


I think that is a pretty universal thought process that includes everything from EV automotive choices to the idea of being cremated in as “green” an environment as possible.  In essence, all other things being equal, “green” would be preferred.


The problem is, at least so far, all other things are not equal.  For instance I cannot drive an EV vehicle more than about 300 miles without then charging the vehicle for 3-4 hours minimum to get back on the road.  And, with a greener cremation, alkaline hydrolysis which may be “greener”, has its own set of issues that seem to put it into that category that “all other things are not equal” which has caused that process from becoming the true “green cremation”.


I don’t know really anything about hydrogen energy, but it will be interesting to see where this study comes out at and if it truly leads to a “greener” cremation.


Related Article:  Inventors of water cremation machine say B.C. laws could push them out.  Business Intelligence for British Columbia (Canada)


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