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Apple Purchases the World's First Commercial Batch of Carbon-Free Aluminium to be used in Future Devices

1 cover Elysis


Earlier today Apple announced that it has bought the first-ever commercial batch of carbon-free aluminum from a joint venture between two of the world’s biggest aluminum suppliers.


The metal is being made by Elysis, a Montreal-based joint venture of Alcoa Corp and Rio Tinto announced last year with $144 million in funding from the two companies, Apple and the governments of Canada and Quebec.


The aluminum will be shipped this month from an Alcoa research facility in Pittsburgh and used in Apple products, although the technology company did not say which ones. Our cover graphic from Elysis shows an iPhone.


Aluminum is carbon-intensive to produce. The smelting process involves passing electrical current through a large block of carbon called an anode, which burns off during the process and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.


Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said in a statement: "For more than 130 years, aluminum - a material common to so many products consumers use daily - has been produced the same way. That’s about to change."


Apple uses aluminum housings for many of its electronics, including iPhones, Apple Watches and Mac computers. Apple last year introduced Mac models that use recycled aluminum.


The Alcoa-Rio joint venture wants to commercialize a technology by 2024 that uses a ceramic anode to make aluminum and emits only oxygen, eliminating direct greenhouse gas emissions from the smelting process. For more on this, read the full Reuters report.


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