According to foreign media reports, Apple has announced that it has purchased the first commercial carbon-free aluminium ever from Elysis. That is a joint venture between two of the world’s largest aluminum suppliers.
Last May, Rio Tinto and Alcoa Corp announced that they have developed a revolutionary aluminum manufacturing process (carbon-free aluminum). Oxygen is the only by-product. Compared with the traditional aluminum smelting process, the new technology avoids direct emissions of greenhouse gases during the process.
In order to develop new processes on a large scale and promote their commercial operation, the two companies also announced the formation of a joint venture, Elysis. As they say it will help them to develop new processes further. Canada and Quebec each invested 60 million Canadian dollars (US $ 46.948 million) in Elysis. Apple also invested 13 million Canadian dollars (US $ 10.172 million) in Elysis to promote the development of the process. Apple also agreed to provide some technical support.
Today, Apple reported that the first carbon-free aluminum will be shipped this month. They also ensured that some Apple products will come with that from now on. However, they did not disclose which ones. Many of Apple’s electronics today use aluminum cases, including the iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac computers. Last year, Apple also introduced Mac models using recycled aluminum.
The carbon-free aluminium smelting process
Historically, aluminum production has been carbon-intensive. The smelting process involves passing an electric current through a large block of anode carbon. The anode burns out during this process. As a result it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So, the development of a carbon-free aluminum process is also a response to consumers. It is going to satisy activist’s and investor’s demands for miners and manufacturers. They aspire to mitigate the impact of climate changes.
Apple’s specialists confirm that aluminium has been produced the same way for 130 years. Finally it is going to change.
This carbon-free aluminum technology uses ceramic anodes to produce aluminum. As a result, it emits only oxygen. Elysis said that they are planning to commercialize the technology by 2024.
Apple and Elysis did not disclose the size or cost of the purchase. Anyways, Elysis said that the carbon-free aluminium smelting process cheaper. It is going to have lower operating costs than traditional aluminum smelting.