Turn buried bodies into organic soil - scientist
STOCKHOLM - A Swedish scientist investigating the most environmentally friendly form of burial has found a way of quickly recycling corpses into soil enricher, the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet reported on Friday.
The new green method, approved by the Church of Sweden, turns the human body into organic matter in a few weeks compared with coffin burial, in which the body takes between 50 and 60 years to decompose.
It was developed by biologist Susanne Wiigh-Masak, who found that cremation emits poisonous gases with unknown effects, making it even less eco-friendly than conventional burial.
In the new green method, the body is immersed in a bath of liquid nitrogen, producing up to 30 kg (65 lbs) of pure organic matter, which is put into a thin, easily degradable coffin.
This is then buried near the ground surface and enriches the soil in the same way as autumn leaves.
On the question of ethics, the Church of Sweden gave its blessing to the new burial method.
"We are promised a new body at the resurrection and so we have no need for the old one," Kerstin Lindqvist, a senior prelate, told Svenska Dagbladet.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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