Cremation has been done across the globe throughout the years. However, it was not until the late 1800s when the modern process of burning dead bodies as a way of disposal was introduced.
It was Professor Brunetti who presented reports of the works they conducted and introduced a more practical and hygienic way of disposing dead bodies through the use of fire. As time passed by, people started adapting his method because of the advantages it poses compared to the un-scientific ways of cremating bodies and burial.
The modern process of cremation typically happens inside a crematorium. These are similar to funeral homes, chapels, and even cemeteries. A crematorium houses several crematories, or the actual machines where cremation takes place.
Before, cremating bodies can be done with just the basic cremator oils like propane, natural gas, or even coal. Today, this is still the case only that the machines used already have adjustable control features to moderate the fire. A modern crematory can sustain a high temperature up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit or 1093 degrees Celsius. Despite this, the machine can still remain intact because of the common materials used for its built including high-density fiber bricks.
These are specifically designed to maintain the heat high enough to decompose a human body without melting the machine itself. However, these bricks are not meant to stay there for life, since they also wear out after some time–especially if the machine has been used several times already. Once they have been exhausted to roughly half of their original size, they should be replaced.
The cremation process has three basic steps: choosing, burning, and keeping and/or disposing.
Choosing refers to the stage wherein body containers are chosen by a dead person’s loved ones or the person intended to be cremated himself prior to his own death (i.e., if he has a terminal illness and plans his funeral beforehand). Body containers come in several shapes, sizes, colors, and even weight. It is important to choose this wisely because just like graves, this is where the remains of a human body will forever be kept.
In some countries, the coffin used during the necrological services for a dead person is cremated along with the body, like in some parts of America. There are even coffins and caskets specifically designed for cremation. However, some countries like the United Kingdom and Germany prefer otherwise.
A modern crematorium can only accommodate one body at a time. In some places, it is even highly unethical to put two or more bodies inside a crematorium for a one-time process. There are some exceptions though, like in the case of stillborn babies along with their mother, but concurrent cremating of bodies is discouraged because a crematorium is designed for one body per process only.
The second step, burning, refers to the actual process of cremating bodies through the use of hgh-temperature fire. The body inside the crematorium is incinerated at 1400 to 2100 degrees fahrenheit or 760 to 1150 degrees Celsius. At this point, the body is vaporized and oxidized, taking up to two hours. However, unlike popular belief, bodies are not reduced to ashes after this step. The bodies only turn into dry bone fragments and are put into a cremulator, which then turns these fragments into ashes.
The whole process doesn’t stop there. Modern process of cremating also includes keeping, which pertains to the proper and hygienic way of taking care of the ashes. There are two main ways to do this: one is to keep and another is to dispose. Keeping mainly involves urns and proper storage, while disposing can be done through scattering or burying.