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Lambeth cuts air pollution with electric cremator

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

As part of Lambeth's 2023-2025 Air Quality Action Plan, Bereavement Services, Lambeth has installed an electric cremator at Lambeth Crematorium

Standard gas-powered cremators release approximately 245 kg of carbon per cremation, adding up to around 115,150 tonnes of carbon in the atmosphere each year.

The recently installed, brand-new electric cremator can remove 30-35 cubic metres of natural gas pollution per cremation, reducing carbon emissions by an impressive 90% and nitric oxide emissions by over 50%.

Not only does the electric cremator significantly cut the borough’s carbon footprint, it also increases the efficiency of the cremation process and facilities as a whole.

The new addition to Lambeth crematorium has been welcomed by the team, particularly Cemetery Chargehand Alfie, who spoke with us about its increased efficiency, “[The electric cremator] maps out the processes of cremation, [which] makes actually understanding the entire process easier.”

Whilst showing us the electric cremator, Alfie explained the role of the fan in the cremation process; “[The] IV fan causes the suction for the whole machine to work [which] cools the air from the system. Without this, there would be no suction, meaning whatever we burn in the cremator would stay in the cremator.’’

“Once the gases are at a cool enough temperature, the machine cleans the air [and] stops the [harmful] gases from entering the atmosphere”.

The Electric Cremator is a revolutionary piece of equipment, helping move the bereavement sector into a cleaner, greener era as Lambeth Council’s Borough Plan promises to “Reduce carbon emissions, significantly cut waste and encourage re-use.” – and this electric cremator does just that.

Cremators utilise water to cool down the gases emitted but this electric cremator uses surplus energy to heat the building, “When the water gets to a certain temperature, it no longer leaves [the building],” Alfie revealed, “It goes into the boiler system which heats the building.” Making the entire facility more efficient and cost-effective.

Lambeth Council were the first council to declare a climate emergency and have also committed to being carbon neutral by 2030.

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