A Brief History

A brief history

Peter James and Arthur Dobbin formed Combustion Solutions Limited in 2002.

Prior to this formation Arthur Dobbin had been involved in a variety of sales and marketing roles within the combustion industry for 30 years.

Peter James had held a senior position with an independent emissions monitoring company since 1995 testing combustion equipment compliance with legislation in various areas of the combustion industry.

The concept of Combustion Solutions Limited is based on the idea of offering a service to users of combustion equipment, irrespective of those machines origins of manufactures. Although the company retains some contact with the clinical waste incineration side of the industry, by far the majority of its operations involve crematoria equipment. Prior to the introduction of CSL into the market, the vast majority of crematoria in the UK were serviced by the cremator manufacturers. Since the entry of CSL there has been a steady move towards independent servicing as the costs savings experienced by crematoria operators and owners has become more and more attractive.

These operators and owners, in both the public and private sectors, are charged with seeking the most financially sound servicing arrangements for their plant. The best value servicing options are now understood to be those offered by independent service providers, of which CSL are at the forefront. 

The difficulty for CSL had been in breaking the 'cartel' mentality of the industry, which we can now say we have been succesful in doing.


At present the company have a number of councils under direct contract and the Partnership Planned Preventative Maintenance contract continues to generate interest. In addition to the servicing activities of the company, CSL also represent exclusively throughout the UK and Eire, the interests of one of Europe's leading manufacturers of crematoria equipment, DFW Europe BV.

The future of crematoria throughout the UK continues to be significantly affected by the introduction of the latest version of The Secretary of States Process Guidance Note for Crematoria PG5/2(04) and the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) recently published consultation document specifically entitled 'Mercury Emissions from Crematoria'.

DFW Europe BV manufactures cremators and filtration units, which allow crematoria to continue to operate their cremators in compliance with the emission standards contrained in the above documents. As a result of the consultation document from DEFRA it was decided that the entire industry should cut its emissions of mercury by 50% by the end of 2012. In addition to PG5/2(04) deadline of 2012, the Oslo/Paris convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic (OSPAR) identified mercury as a chemical for priority action in 1998/ In 2003 OSPAR recommended that crematoria apply Best Available Technology (BAT) to prevent dispersal of mercury from human remains into the atmosphere. This recommendation did not make any mention of a 50% reduction in mercury, which will be the final figure. OSPAR have confirmed that they are committed to the total cessation of mercury discharges to atmosphere by 2020. As the entire industry operates some 600 cremators and at present is pressing ahead with meeting its first phase target of 2012, this would suggest manufacturers of legislative compliant equipment can expect many business opportunities for some years to come.