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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]

Franchises are promoted online on This describes Promession as at the idea/protype stage -

Susanne Wiigh-Masak stated that there was a prototype which had been seen by Jonkoping, the first potential customer. Lennart Angselius said this was not true. This is a google translated extract from a news article -

"In what way has Promessa been able to test promession in practice?

- We did that right from the start. We had small tests in 2002, individual pieces of meat from animals that we made lab tests. In 2003, we started working on self-killed adult pigs. We drove a large number of pigs in a full scale plant weighing six tons. It was set up in Stockholm.

Was the test facility any kind of prototype?

- It worked like a prototype, yes. There we had an opportunity to show it to our former customer, who was Jönköping, "said Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak.

This is not true, says Lennart Angselius. The visitors from Jönköping never saw a prototype:

"We never saw a plant where you could drive it, we never saw that," says the cemetery manager."

Several corpses were kept in deep freezers in anticipation of a promator in Jonkoping, Sweden, but it never happened.

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]