IIT develops portable eco-friendly mobile cremation system

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has developed a prototype of a moveable electric cremation system which claims to be using first-of-its-kind technology that involves smokeless cremation despite using wood.

It uses half of the wood otherwise required for the cremation and still is eco-friendly because of the technology that uses combustion air system.

The electric cremation system, developed by the Chandigarh-based IITs Ropar institute, is based on wick-stove technology in which the wick when lighted glows yellow. This is converted into a smokeless blue flame with the help of combustion air system installed over the wicks.

IIT Professor Harpreet Singh, Dean, Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research and Industry Interaction (ICSR&II) who has developed the system said that the cremation system or incinerator heats up at 1,044 degree Celsius which ensures complete sterilisation. The cart-shaped incinerator has wheels and can be transported anywhere without much efforts. The cart is equipped with combustion air for primary and secondary hot air system.

“The disposal of the body is completed within 12 hours including cooling time as against 48 hours required in the normal wood-based cremation,” Singh said.

Use of less wood can also reduce the carbon footprint by half, said the professor, adding it requires less cooling time in the absence of refractory heat storage.

“It has stainless steel insulation on both sides of the cart for no heat loss and less wood consumption. It also has a tray beneath for easy removal of ashes.”

Singh said that he has adopted tech-traditional model for cremation as it also uses wood. “That has been done keeping in view our beliefs and traditions of cremating on wood pyre.”

Keeping in view the present pandemic situation “if this system can be adopted, may provide respectable cremation to the near and dear ones of those who cannot afford the financial burden of arranging wood”, said Harjinder Singh Cheema, MD, Cheema Boilers Ltd, who has made the prototype.

Cheema said that the portable device can be taken to any place with the permission of the concerned authorities. “This will also help people to avoid a space crunch in crematoriums as is the case in present context.”