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Promession is an idea of how to dispose 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] The company went bankrupt in 2015 without being able to produce a functioning facility.[3] The idea of promession is questioned and not a functional method according to critics.[4]


The idea of 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.


Promession as a functional method is questioned. No facility for promession has been built or put into service. Critics argue that there is a physical[5] impossibility to atomize a freeze dried human body in this way.[4][6]

Current status[edit]

The company was liquidated 2015 without being able to produce a functioning module or facility.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Holst, Karen (13 April 2011). "Swedish green-burial firm to turn frozen corpses in compost". Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  2. ^ McNally, Patrick (30 September 2008). "Promession: A Return to the Living Soil". Daily Undertaker. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Promessa slutligen i konkurs". Bohusläningen (in Swedish). Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b Kron, Andreas. "Ekologisk begravning - Studio Ett". (in Swedish). Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  5. ^ Möller, Lotte (2011). Hej då! : begravningsboken. Malmö: Arena. ISBN 9789178433612. OCLC 760982426.
  6. ^ "- Promession fungerar inte / Kalmar / NYHETER / ÖSTRAN / Östra Smålan…". 25 May 2012. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2018.

External links[edit]