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How Electric Cremation Compares to Other Cremation Services

Electric cremation is an eco-friendly alternative that is gaining in popularity. Keep reading to find out why!
Electric Cremation Retort

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At Green Cremation Texas we’re always staying informed on the latest crematorium technologies that help to make disposition easier on the environment and the families we serve. We’re among the few funeral homes in Texas that specialize in arranging alkaline hydrolysis or water cremation services, but what about electric cremation? 

This method of cremation promises to give people another eco-friendly option that doesn’t involve flames, carbon-based fuels or the use of land. Keep reading to learn more about how electric cremation compares to traditional and gas-powered cremation.

What Makes Electric Cremation Different

As you may have already guessed, the biggest differentiator between an electric cremator and a gas-powered cremator or traditional cremation is the energy source. Traditional cremation involves burning trees. In India, where the practice is common, traditional wood-burning cremations require 20 trees. Gas-powered cremators use carbon-based fuels such as liquid natural gas and compressed natural gas. An all-electric cremator uses electricity that can be generated from a variety of resources.  

Electric cremation, also known as electric incineration, uses a high-powered furnace and a retort where the body is placed like gas-powered cremation. Once the furnace reaches a certain temperature the body is rolled into the heated chamber. The furnace is powered by simple electric connections and can be plugged into a three-phase electric outlet. 

Since the cremator is airtight, a filter system is installed. Any substances or gasses that are generated in the chamber go through a water treatment process to ensure it can be safely vented out of a chimney. The water then goes into an effluent treatment plant to be treated as well. 

The design is different for an electric cremator, and one advantage is that electric cremators can be delivered to a funeral home preassembled. Electric cremators are also very easy to use and the cremation parameters can be easily customized. From start to finish, electric cremation takes less than three hours, which is quicker or relatively the same amount of time compared to other forms of cremation. 

What Makes Electric Cremation More Eco-Friendly

Electric cremation may sound revolutionary in the U.S., but the technology has actually been around since the 1980s. It was originally used in India for densely populated metro areas in order to minimize pollution caused by traditional flame cremations. 

All types of cremation are more eco-friendly than traditional burial, however, there are important environmental differences in how cremation is carried out. 

  • As noted above, traditional gas-powered cremation uses nonrenewable fossil fuels and can cause air pollution since greenhouse gasses are produced. 
  • Traditional flame-based cremations with open funeral pyres, like those used in India, produce smoke, carbon dioxide and other toxins that are released into the air. The ashes that float into the air are also a problem. They can land in waterways and lakes causing further pollution. There’s also the issue of deforestation since funeral pyres are created using huge stacks of wood that are covered in an accelerant like kerosene.   
  • With electric cremation these environmental concerns aren’t an issue. No water or air pollution is created as a result of an electric cremation. In addition, only 300 kWh of electricity is used, which means it’s low energy and low cost. Some electric cremators even have reporting capabilities that can optimize energy efficiency by measuring temperature, pressure and oxygen levels. There’s also emission control equipment that helps to minimize the environmental impact.
    • If a crematorium is powered by renewable energy then the electric cremator is actually carbon neutral. This is the case if the crematorium uses solar panels for electricity or has a green energy plan that’s powered by solar, wind, geothermal or hydroelectric sources. 

Want to learn more about eco-friendly cremation services in Texas? The knowledgeable and caring team at Green Cremation Texas can explain all of your options and what kind of environmental impact they have for years to come.

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Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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