Producing aluminium for commercial use the traditional way is environmentally degrading in 2 aspects: –
1. The process of electrolysis requires electric current to be passed through the refined alumina. This electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels.
2. In the above process, a carbon anode is inserted into the alumina which after the smelting process leads to creation of carbon dioxide.
In 2015, David DeYoung an executive at Alcoa(a major producer of aluminium) was called to the Apple headquarters. Alcoa was looking into the possibility of producing aluminum at the least impact to the environment. By that time, Alcoa was also in the midst of a purported splitting up of the company into 2 separate units.
Apple, which Harbor Intelligence analyst Jorge Vazquez estimates uses almost 15,000 metric tons of aluminum annually for its electronics gear, had invited DeYoung to explain a potentially revolutionary carbonless manufacturing process for aluminum that his group was developing.
Later that year, Apple held talks with Alcoa’s rival, London based Rio Tinto who were themselves looking to develop carbonless aluminium production. Thereafter, Apple asked both the compainies to join their resources to develop the technology together. This led to the creation of Elysis.
Elysis is a joint venture between Alcoa and Rio Tinto is backed by funding from Apple, the government of Canada, and the provincial government of Quebec. The venture has developed a technology that makes so-called green aluminum, whose production doesn’t emit carbon dioxide.