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Promession is an environmentally friendly way to dispose of human remains by way of freeze drying. The concept of promession was developed by Swedish biologist Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak, who derived the name from the Italian word for "promise" (promessa).[1] She founded Promessa Organic AB in 1997 to commercially pursue her idea.[2]


Promession involves five steps:

  1. Coffin separation: the body is placed into the chamber
  2. Cryogenic freezing: liquid nitrogen at -196 °C crystallizes the body
  3. Vibration: the body is disintegrated into particles within minutes
  4. Freeze drying: particles are freeze dried in a drying chamber, leaving approximately 30% of the original weight
  5. Metal separation: any metals (e.g., tooth amalgam, artificial hips, etc.) are removed, either by magnetism or by sieving. The dry powder is placed in a biodegradable casket which is interred in the top layers of soil, where aerobic bacteria decompose the remains into humus in as little as 6–12 months.

Current status[edit]

From 2004, trials have been performed on pigs, and AGA Gas developed a proof-of-concept. However a third party is needed to enter into an agreement with Promessa to order the equipment needed for promession of human cadavers.

The BBC has shown a proof of concept to work[3] with relatively simple means.

Wiigh-Mäsak had received expressions of interest from more than 60 countries, including Vietnam, the United Kingdom, South Africa, the Netherlands, Canada, and the United States.[1] In South Korea, the technology was expressly legalized.[2] Currently, Wiigh-Mäsak works with groups, countries, and people of all kinds to find support for her company and lifelong passion, encouraging others to show support through membership and donation for Promessa.[4]

Public opinion[edit]

An opinion poll run by Ny Teknik in Sweden showed support for promession.[5] In a popularity contest among about 70 innovative companies in Sweden, Promessa was judged the most popular.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Holst, Karen (13 April 2011). "Swedish green-burial firm to turn frozen corpses in compost". Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b McNally, Patrick (30 September 2008). "Promession: A Return to the Living Soil". Daily Undertaker. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Stansfield, Jem (16 April 2013). "Bang Goes The Theory". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Metoderna som ersätter kremering - NyTeknik
  6. ^ Heta listan » Framtidslyftet

External links[edit]