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Apple's aluminum devices will be a bit more environmentally friendly

A new smelting process won't directly produce greenhouse gases.
Rob LeFebvre, @roblef
May 10, 2018
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Apple uses a lot of aluminum in its products, including MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad. Now the company is investing in making aluminum without adding to the direct greenhouse gas emissions typical in current smelting technology. Apple, along with aluminum companies Alcoa and Rio Tinto, has partnered with the Canadian government to invest a combined $144 million in the process.

"Apple is committed to advancing technologies that are good for the planet and help protect it for generations to come," said Tim Cook in a statement. "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 notes that aluminum has been mass produced the same way since 1886 when the process was pioneered by Alcoa's founder Charles Hall. Smelters burn a carbon material to remove oxygen from aluminum oxide, which releases greenhouse gases. Alcoa and Rio Tinto created a joint venture called Elysis, which will develop the new way to make aluminum, hopefully ready for sale in 2024.

This is not the first push by Apple to be as eco-friendly as possible, of course. This past April, the company announced that it is powered completely by renewable energy and revealed its latest recycling robot, Daisy.

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