Rio Tinto to develop new carbon-free aluminium smelting process

Joanna Estrada
May 10, 2018

Members of Apple's business development team introduced Rio Tinto Aluminum as a partner with a "robust worldwide presence as well as deep experience in smelting technology development and global sales and commercialization".

The announcement was made today in Saguenay, Quebec, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Apple Senior Director Sarah Chandler in attendance.

Aluminum is one of the most commonly used materials in Apple products, and also one of the company's largest remaining sources of toxic emissions - a result of the metal smelting process.

It's easy to see why Apple's jumped at investing into tech here, investing $13 million CAD ($10 million USD) in the process. The governments are investing about $47 million (U.S.).

Apple engineers Brian Lynch, Jim Yurko and Katie Sassaman eventually ended up working with Alcoa Corporation, after discovering the company had created a new process which releases oxygen instead of carbon dioxide.

Alcoa and Rio Tinto are creating a joint venture in based in Montreal called Elysis, to help mainstream the process, with plans to make it commercially available by 2024.

A low-priced, long-term deal pairing Apple with metal giants Alcoa and Rio Tinto intends to eliminate greenhouse gases in manufacturing aluminum, the companies announced today.

Apple played a crucial role in bringing the two aluminum producers together, and the company is part of a $144 million investment to support development of the clean aluminum production process along with Elysis and the Governments of Canada and Quebec.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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