Canada / U.S. big players announce world’s first carbon-free aluminum smelting process – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – May 10, 2018)

In an official event that included Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Québec’s Premier, Philippe Couillard, and Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, Alcoa (NYSE: AA) and Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO) announced the launching of Elysis, a joint venture company whose goal is to push towards commercial production a newly discovered, carbon-free aluminum smelting process.

At the event, executives from the companies involved explained that the innovative aluminum-making method produces oxygen and eliminates all direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process.

As an example, they said that, if fully implemented at existing aluminum smelters, the technology could eliminate the equivalent of 6.5 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. This represents an amount roughly equal to taking nearly 1.8 million light-duty vehicles off the road.

The patent-protected technology was developed by Alcoa and is currently producing metal at the Alcoa Technical Center, near Pittsburgh in the United States, where the process has been operating at different scales since 2009.

Apple has been involved in the project since 2015, when three of its engineers started a search for a cleaner, better way of mass producing the aluminum that is used in most of the company’s devices.

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