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article imageApple teams with Alcoa and Rio Tinto in green aluminum smelting

By Karen Graham     May 12, 2018 in Technology
Saguenay - On Friday, Technology giant Apple announced a new partnership with Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto Aluminium to accelerate commercialization of a patented technology that eliminates all greenhouse gas emissions from the smelting process of aluminum.
In its commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its products through innovation, Apple Inc. is no slouch, and the company helped accelerate the development of this new, carbon-free technology.
Aluminum represents nearly a quarter of Apple's manufacturing emissions. So the tech giant was set to find a process for producing aluminum that was environmentally friendly.
Several years ago, three of Apple's engineers went in search of a cleaner, better way of mass producing aluminum. After meeting with aluminum manufacturers, independent labs and startups around the world, the three engineers, Brian Lynch, Jim Yurko and Katie Sassaman, found their answer at Alcoa Corporation - and they have been working with Alcoa ever since.
The new aluminum production method releases oxygen  rather than greenhouse gasses  during the smelti...
The new aluminum production method releases oxygen, rather than greenhouse gasses, during the smelting process.
Apple, Inc
The answer Apple found resulted in the tech company, Canada's federal government, and the government of Quebec investing in a joint venture between Alcoa Inc. and Rio Tinto Group called Elysis. Apple and the two governments have invested a combined $144 million to future research and development. Alcoa and Rio Tinto will invest $55 million in the project.
Under Elysis, they will commercialize a patented process that eliminates greenhouse gas emissions from traditional smelting by instead producing oxygen.
"Apple is committed to advancing technologies that are good for the planet and help protect it for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are proud to be part of this ambitious new project, and look forward to one day being able to use aluminum produced without direct greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing of our products.”
Apple also put forth $13 million to facilitate the collaboration between Alcoa and Rio Tinto. Elysis will have a headquarters in Montreal and a research facility in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec region. The patent-pending technology is already in use at the Alcoa Technical Center, outside Pittsburgh, and this project will invest more than $30 million in the United States.
When fully developed and in commercialization, the new process has the potential to eliminate direct greenhouse gas emissions from the smelting process around the world. Friday's news followed an announcement by Apple last month that all of its facilities are now powered with 100 percent clean energy and 23 of its suppliers have committed to do the same.
The announcement on Friday in Saguenay, Quebec was attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, and Apple Senior Director Sarah Chandler.
More about Elysis, Apple inc, Alcoa, Rio tinto, US tariffs 2018
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