A cremation furnace is an incinerator developed to burn the human body with a coffin. Cremation is an alternative funeral or post-funeral rite to the burial or interment of an intact dead body. A cremation furnace is an industrial furnace capable of generating high temperatures to disintegrate a corpse and operated with a computer to ensure legal compliance and safety. It is not designed to cremate more than a single body at a time a practice considered illegal in many countries, including the U.S.
The modern cremation process uses a high-powered furnace fueled by natural gas to attain temperatures around 1500–1900°F. A crematorium may be part of a chapel, a funeral home, an independent facility, or a service offered by a cemetery. The relatively low cost of cremation compared to traditional funeral services is one of the key drivers influencing public opinion toward this alternative funeral rite.
The global cremation furnace market is expected to grow at a CAGR during the forecast period, 2023–2031.
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
The requirement of wood in funeral pyres leads to deforestation, while cremation leads to carbon-dioxide emissions. In Asian countries such as India where conventional cremation with wood fire is common, over 40 million trees are consumed annually in conventional cremation with wood fire, leading to the denudation of 1,500–2,000 sq km of forests and the emission of 7.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, adding to global warming and polluting the surroundings with suspended particulate matter.
The depletion of domestic forest resources has been leading to a decline in wood supply. According to the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations), global wood supply decreased to 22.92 million cu. m. in 2016, merely one-fifth of the total wood supply in 1995. In light of these factors, cremation furnaces have been witnessing relatively higher adoption over conventional cremation, with various countries opting for the environment-friendly alternative. According to UrnsforAshes, the cremation rate in the U.K. was 77.05% in 2017, with 467,748 cremations across 289 crematoriums in the country. Further, as per the Cremation Society of Great Britain, the cremation rate in Japan was about 100% in 2013.
In North America, environmental concerns, as well as factors such as relaxation of religious prohibitions and inclination towards simpler, less ritualized funeral practices, have been gradually leading to an increase in the prevalence of cremation furnaces. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, in 2016, approximately one-third of the funeral homes in the U.S. operated their own crematories while another 10% planned to start doing so within the next five years.
Advanced cremation furnaces meet the rising demand for cremation services while conserving the environment. Automated cremators with filter technology minimize energy consumption at all times. The preference towards cremation due to the rising cost of traditional funerals and scarcity of burial space is expected to augment the growth of the cremation furnace market.
The human cremation furnace segment by type was valued at USD 494.44 million in 2018 and is expected to reach a value of USD 601.76 million by 2025, with a CAGR of 2.7% during the forecast period. A cremation furnace is a high-technology process machine engineered to work with the minimum waste of thermal energy in order to lower emissions. A human cremation furnace, as the name suggests, is used in a crematorium, and dead bodies are cremated at temperatures ranging from 1000–1300°C. 65% of the human body is made of water; in order to vaporize this fraction, a lot of energy and, consequently, a lot of fuel is required for burning. Market participants are focusing on developing technologically-advanced human cremation furnaces such as electric furnaces, LPG furnaces, and gasifier furnaces, among others. As per the Cremation Association of North America (CANA), the U.S.’s cremation rate has been steadily increasing, with the national forecasting average rate expected to reach 59.4% by 2023.
By technology, the global cremation furnace market has been segmented into wood gasifier cremation furnace, electric cremation furnace, and gasifier cremation furnace. The gasifier cremation furnace segment leads the market by technology and is expected to flourish at a CAGR of 3.0% during the forecast period.
A gasifier cremation furnace consists a gas pipeline arrangement alongside safety equipment, including gas regulator, pressure indicator, and temperature sensor. It consists of primary and secondary chambers with a strong cremation bed and secondary air holes. It requires one cylinder per body and consumes less gas. The technology is renowned for reducing fuelwood combustion by improving efficiency. It is also relatively less polluting and more hygienic. Gasifier furnaces offer legal compliance and safe use, which has consolidated the growth of the segment.
The North America market was valued at USD 194.80 million in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.0% during the forecast period. North America’s cremation furnace market has been witnessing significant growth over the past few years with vast scope in different applications — from crematoriums to clinics and hospitals. Electric cremation furnaces account for a prominent market share among all segments by cremation technology, with massive investments and efforts with respect to design and marketing. As per the Cremation Association of North America, the cremation rate in the U.S. was pegged at 53.1% in 2018 and is expected to reach 59.4% by 2023.
Europe is also expected to grow at a significant pace in the near future on account of the implementation of regulations favoring conservation of the environment. Currently, electric and gasifier cremation furnaces are the most expeditiously growing forms of technology in the region. As per the Funeral Act of 2012, cremation takes place when it is not against the wishes or religious conviction of the deceased; however, recently constructed crematoria are built with such religious neutral facilities in Norway.
Based on application, the market has been segmented into crematoriums, clinics and hospitals, and laboratories. Crematoriums accounted for the largest market share, i.e. approximately 68.48%, in 2018 and are expected to grow continuously over the forecast period. Cremation has emerged as the preferred alternative to burial as the population is shifting towards environment-friendly options.
The distribution segment by sales channel accounts for a significant market share and is expected to retain its market position throughout the forecast period. Key market players believe that the sale of their differentiated and innovative products is driven by knowledgeable salespersons who can deliver the value of the cremation furnace and its unique solutions. To ensure a high-quality buying experience, players are focusing on building and improving their distribution capabilities by expanding the number of their retail stores worldwide.
Some of the key players in the global cremation furnaces market include
Industry players and distributors are increasingly focusing on an online strategy to increase sales. The sale of cremation furnaces by both direct and distribution channels involves delivery obligations. Further, players are striving to offer eco-friendly, cost-effective, and innovative solutions to capture a large consumer base. For instance, DFW Europe’s cremation furnaces of innovative and high-tech solutions; their energy efficiency and cremation filtration system makes them the ideal cremation solutions.