AluminumSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple has purchased its first-ever batch of Carbon-free Aluminum.
  • Apple announced a venture to explore the development of carbon-free smelting last year.
  • It's working with Alcoa Corporation, Rio Tinto Aluminium, and the Canadian Government.

Apple has purchased its first-ever batch of Carbon-free Aluminum, on the back of a joint venture between two of the world's largest aluminum suppliers.

As reported by Reuters, the Carbon-free Aluminum is made by Elysis. A joint venture of Alcoa Corp and Rio Tinto backed by $144 million in funding. Apple is also on board, along with the governments of Canada and Quebec.

Apple announced the venture in May of last year, after learning that Alcoa had designed a new manufacturing process for aluminum that uses a conductive material instead of carbon, and produces oxygen instead of carbon dioxide. The environmental impact of such a move could be absolutely massive, not only for Apple and its extensive use of Aluminum but also for global manufacturing as a whole.

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As Reuters reports, the aluminum will be shipped this month from a research facility in Pittsburgh, and used in Apple products, although we don't know which.

An Apple statement said:

"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,"

The goal of the venture is to commercialize the technology by 2024, encouragingly, current manufacturing facilities can be retrofitted to use the process. The process is also reportedly cheaper than traditional aluminum smelting, so it's a win-win!

As mentioned there is no indication as to how Apple plans to use this aluminum, or in what quantity it has purchased it. It wouldn't be hard to imagine however that Apple might have planned a special line of exclusive products or a range like its (PRODUCT)RED iPhones.

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