Apple has just bought its first ever batch of carbon-free aluminum

Aluminum (Image credit: 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.

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.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9