Apple planning to use carbon-free aluminium in future


Apple is working with the biggest Aluminium producers on the planet to create a “carbon-free” Aluminium. Rio Tinto and Alcoa are looking for a process that eliminates the carbon emission from the smelting process. Apple is planning to use this Aluminium in the manufacturing process of future devices such as the iPhones and Macs.

This is one of the latest move made by Apple to reduce its carbon footprint. It also shows that mining companies are looking forward to lowering the emissions while meeting the customers’ needs.

“Apple is committed to advancing technologies that are good for the planet and help protect it for generations to come,” said Tim Cook.

Recently, Apple has stated that all its facilities are running on green energy. It is also planning to manufacture most of its product using recycled or renewable materials.

Apple has invested over $10 million along with the government of Canada ($94 million) and Rio Tinto and Alcoa ($44 million) in the commercialisation of the aforementioned technique. The project, Elysis was launched on Thursday at a ceremony in Canada. Elysis is the result of an attempt by Apple engineers to find a greener way of mass-producing aluminium.

The engineers discovered that Alcoa had come up with a new technique for smelting Aluminium. Apple brought along Rio to help in further development of the process. The traditional method relies on carbon anode during the smelting process which result in carbon dioxide emission. Elysis uses an “advanced conductive material” that releases oxygen instead.

Elysis will start to license the technology used at Alcoa’s technical centre in Pittsburgh by 2022. The new anode material will also be sold to other the manufacturers.

Analyst claim that making the Aluminium manufacturing process completely carbon-free is not possible, as of now. Many facilities rely on the coal-based power plants for electricity required in Aluminium refinement.

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