March 24, 2022

Apple to use ELYSIS zero-carbon aluminum for the latest iPhone SE

Apple announced that it will use zero-carbon aluminum produced by ELYSIS in the new iPhone SE. This is the first time the aluminum will be produced and sold at industrial scale, representing another major milestone in advancing the ELYSIS technology invented by Alcoa. The aluminum to be used in the iPhone SEs is being produced at the ELYSIS Industrial Research and Development Centre in Quebec with renewable hydropower.

This latest announcement builds on Apple’s existing relationship with ELYSIS. Apple contributed funding as a non-equity partner in the ELYSIS joint venture when it was launched in 2018 and a year later made the first ever purchase of ELYSIS aluminum, which was used in 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops.

ELYSIS, a joint venture between Alcoa and Rio Tinto, uses a technology that eliminates all greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional smelting, producing only pure oxygen as a by-product. Last year, ELYSIS announced the construction on the first commercial-scale prototype cells of ELYSIS’ inert anode technology at a smelter in Quebec.

The new process, which can be used for both new and existing aluminum smelters, will reduce operating costs of aluminium smelters while increasing production capacity. The technology is on track to be commercially available by 2024.

Apple isn’t the only major company to use ELYSIS aluminum. Last year, Alcoa announced a deal with Audi and RONAL Group to use a combination of ELYSIS aluminum and Alcoa’s low-carbon EcoLum aluminum to manufacture the wheels for Audi’s e-tron GT sports car.

ELYSIS is a key part of the technology roadmap that will help Alcoa realize its vision to reinvent the aluminum industry for a sustainable future. The roadmap includes projects that aim to fundamentally decarbonize key parts of the aluminum value chain. In addition to decarbonizing smelting through ELYSIS, Alcoa is focused on its Refinery of the Future initiative and its ASTRAEA? technology, which converts post-consumer scrap material into super high-purity aluminum.

Read Apple’s full announcement: Apple’s $4.7B in Green Bonds support innovative green technology - Apple

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