A Swedish company wants to make burials more eco-friendly, and they're doing it by freezing dead people in liquid nitrogen, shattering them into dust with focused sound waves, and then sucking all the leftover moisture out with a vacuum.
Traditional funerals are apparently pretty bad for the environment. Embalming fluid is toxic stuff. Coffins are often made of metal, which doesn't biodegrade, or wood finished with nasty chemicals. Tons of concrete are often poured into the ground to create a stable vault and protect against zombies. And even the cremation route uses scads of energy and releases mercury into the atmosphere.
A Swedish company called Promessa has come up with a crazy new way of handling the remains of the deceased, and it's straight out of science fiction. First, a body is chilled down to 18 degrees Celsius. Then it's entirely submerged in liquid nitrogen, which freezes it solid, and makes it brittle enough that it can be shattered and pulverized into dust using high power sound waves. Next, the dust (which is still about the same mass as the body was) is exposed to a vacuum which boils off all the moisture contained in the dust, reducing its mass by 70% or so. Lastly, all of the inorganic stuff that may be left over is removed with an electromagnet, and the dust is placed in a coffin made of corn starch, all ready for a shallow burial that'll turn everything into compost within a year.
Of course, this whole process is fairly complicated and certainly takes some amount of energy to perform on its own, but at the very least the end product is a bit better for the planet than some more traditional methods. Plus, unlike burial or cremation, it's also guaranteed to destroy killer robots.