On Thursday, Apple purchased its commercial and first-ever batch of Carbon-free aluminium to use in its products. Apple bought it from a joint venture of two biggest aluminium suppliers in the world, Rio Tinto and Alcoa Corp. This new Montreal based joint venture is named Elysis.
The joint venture was declared with $144 million (roughly Rs. 1,027 crores) from Alcoa Corp, Rio Tinto, Apple, and the governments of Quebec and Canada last year.
The shipping of the first batch of the carbon-free aluminium will be done this month from an Alcoa research facility in Pittsburgh. Apple is going to use them in its products soon, though the tech giant did not mention the product in which it is going to include.
The first batch of the carbon-free aluminium was manufactured in Pittsburgh. Still, Elysis is also planning to produce it at a C$50-million research facility in Saguenay, Quebec, that is expected to start in the second half of 2020.
Aluminium is a carbon-intensive product. The shift to carbon-free aluminium is in response to the investor, activist, and consumer demand. Manufacturers and miners are working to reduce the impact of carbon on climate change.
Vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives of Apple, Lisa Jackson stated, “For more than 130 years, aluminium, which is a commonly used material to make so many products that consumers use daily are manufactured the same way. That is about to change.”
Apple uses aluminium cases for most of its electronic products that include Apple Watches, iPhones, Mac computers, etc. Last year, Apple introduced its Mac models that use recycled aluminium.
By 2024, the joint venture of Alcoa and Rio Tinto want to commercialize a technology, which users ceramic anode for the manufacturing of the aluminium. It emits only oxygen and eliminates all the greenhouse gases emission from the smelting process.
Elysis is planning to license this technology and says that the current smelting facilities can be retrofitted to use it.
Both Elysis and Apple have not disclosed the cost or size of the purchase. They described it as the commercial batch. Elysis said that the operation cost for this is expected to be lesser compared to the conventional smelting of the aluminium.