Apart from helping keep the environment clean, the new technique will also halve wood consumption at the funeral home. Apart from the traditional method, the PMC has been employing electric, diesel and LPG cremation systems so far.
Around 300-400 kg of wood is consumed in a traditional cremation, while only about 150 kg is required for the gasification technique. “In this mode, we have to use small pieces of wood or wood chips. These are then utilised to generate gas, which is used for cremation,” said Dr Ramesh Chavan, medical officer, PMC “Many people want a time-honoured cremation for the departed, and this technique does utilise wood. So, chances are it will find acceptance. This will help reduce pollution and consumption of wood,” Chavan added.
The unit will have many components – loading platform, blower, gasifier, cremation unit (furnace), scrubber (to clean the chimney) etc. Elaborating on the procedure, Chavan said, “Wood will be loaded from the platform and controlled combustion will lead to formation of gas, which will be used for the incineration. The smoke will be filtered by the scrubber and water so that unwanted and harmful particles are removed, and the remaining gases will be released through the chimney. The water will be drained out later.”
This technique is being replicated from Hyderabad. “Our team visited the city and had a look at the method,” said Mahendra Shinde, executive engineer, electrical department, PMC.
Ceiro Energy Company is developing the project. “The total expenses would be Rs 47 lakh – this will include installation, maintenance for 3 years and 1 year’s supply of wood. A lot of unclaimed bodies are brought to the Kailash crematorium. This will help reduce pressure on the diesel cremation machine. The project will take around 2 months to complete and work is about to start this week.” Shinde concluded.