Apple Begins Buying Aluminum Made With Carbon-Free Process, Plans to Use in Select Products

In May 2018, Apple announced that it had helped facilitate a collaboration between two of the world's largest aluminum producers, Alcoa and Rio Tinto, on a new carbon-free aluminum smelting process. Together, the companies formed a joint venture called Elysis, working to develop the patented technology further.

aluminum alcoa rio
Today, Apple said it has now bought the first-ever commercial batch of carbon-free aluminum from Elysis, according to Reuters. The aluminum will be shipped from a Pittsburgh facility and used in unspecified Apple products. iPhones, iPads, Macs, and many other Apple products use aluminum.

"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," said Apple's environmental chief Lisa Jackson.

Alcoa and Rio Tinto aim to commercialize and license the carbon-free smelting process beginning in 2024. If fully developed and implemented, it will eliminate direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional aluminum smelting process developed over 130 years ago, according to Apple.

Alcoa said it has been producing aluminum at its facility near Pittsburgh with the new process, to varying degrees, since 2009. The process resulted from decades of research and is described by Apple as the most significant innovation in the aluminum industry in more than a century.

Elysis also plans to manufacture the carbon-free aluminum at a CA$50 million research facility under construction in Saguenay, Quebec, which is slated to open in the second half of 2020, according to the report.

Top Rated Comments

martyjmclean Avatar
25 months ago
Conspiracy theory: Apple fired Ive so they could spell/pronounce aluminium incorrectly.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
25 months ago
Anybody else in the mood for a Toblerone?

Attachment Image
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rudy69 Avatar
25 months ago

They is no such thing as carbon free, they will allways be some form of energy requirements that has a carbon footprint what you can go is reduce it as much as possible and that’s what Apple is doing and it’s good it’s the way forward reduce it as much as possible but you will never be able to eliminate it and these daft claims carbon free is just BS PR
While not 100% carbon free, the plant in Saguenay is most likely 100% powered by hydro electricity. Yes of course I'm sure the product will be moved by trucks using regular diesel etc etc But diminishing the environmental impact of making the product is good regardless.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
25 months ago

Bloody CO2 lies! Companies better invest in reduction of pollution (that goes much further than removing a few chemicals from product materials).
Oh gee, someone didn't sleep well? All efforts to restore and protect the environment are necessary. In a very short time, human impact has become nearly irreversible!


It is largely B.S PR
the TLDR: is are there using cryolite or some proprietary derivative, it's used as an solvent for aluminum oxide and allows for smelting at a lower temperature ( thus you need to put less energy in to smelt = technically more green) it also gives off oxygen as a byproduct rather than other emissions, so for virtue signalling it seems more green that way.

Apple will then argue because they're purchasing carbon credits so the energy they do use from the smelting is green already, let's not forget the vast majority of all aluminum used today is already from recycled sources, it's one of the easiest metals the smelt, it's most hobbyists learn with because of that.

I'm more annoyed that Canadian company like Elysis That received Canadian government subsidies to create this aluminum used those to open up Pittsburgh plant and is now selling to Apple so indirectly my tax dollars went to benefit the American economy rather than the Canadian one presumably to avoid higher tariff etc. either way it doesn't benefit me or my country but that's neither here nor there.
A $50M facility is being constructed in Quebec. That surely has long term benefits for the Canadian economy.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KazKam Avatar
25 months ago

I'm excited to see what Apple makes with this. Very excited.
What? They're going to make things out of it that they already make out of aluminum. The process changed, not the material.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dumastudetto Avatar
25 months ago
I'm excited to see what Apple makes with this. Very excited.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
personal hotspot 1

Apple Acknowledges Personal Hotspot Issues Affecting Some iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 Users

Saturday March 21, 2020 10:04 am PDT by
In an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has acknowledged that some iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 users may experience issues with Personal Hotspot. Apple has told Authorized Service Providers to expect customers who are unable to connect to a Personal Hotspot or experience frequent disconnection from one. Customers may also...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Partners With Delta to Provide Free In-Flight Music and Podcasts Service

Thursday September 2, 2021 12:59 am PDT by
Spotify has announced a new partnership with Delta that will see the streaming service take over the "audio" section of Delta's in-flight seatback entertainment, making select playlists and podcasts freely available to all passengers. You are now free to roam about the cabin—and get the music and podcasts you love at 30,000 feet. Beginning today, we're taking off in a new partnership with...