Last year, we talked about an investment of R $ 35 million that Apple was making in joint venture Elysis, a collaboration between two of the largest mining / metallurgical companies in the world (the Alcoa and the Rio Tinto) which aims to put into practice an innovative method of casting the aluminum, which does not emit carbon monoxide or any other polluting gases.
Well here we are, more than a year and a half later, and we already have the first milestone of the partnership: according to Reuters, Apple was the buyer of the very first batch of “clean” aluminum from Elysis, still in the testing phase. The material will be dispatched from Alcoa’s research facilities in Pittsburgh (United States) and used in certain Apple products – we just don’t know which ones, yet.
Elysis received a total investment of $ 144 million (about R $ 600 million); in addition to Apple’s contribution, joint venture it also received money from the two companies (Alcoa and Rio Tinto) and from the governments of Canada and the province of Quebec. Now, with the first batch of clean aluminum properly produced, companies will build smelting facilities to apply the method on a commercial scale; the technology will also be licensed so that other metallurgical companies can modify their facilities and adopt the new smelting method.
Apple’s vice president of political, social and environmental initiatives, Lisa Jackson, made a brief statement about the novelty:
For more than 130 years, aluminum – a material so common for so many products used daily by consumers – has been produced in the same way. This is about to change.
It is not yet known when large-scale production of clean aluminum will begin, but the completion of the tests gives a good indication that we will soon see the material being used in products from Apple and other companies. Meanwhile, Apple is using palliatives – like using recycled aluminum in devices like the MacBook Air and Mac mini.
Good news, isn’t it?