ELYSIS has successfully produced the first commercial batch of aluminium without any direct carbon dioxide emissions, using a breakthrough, carbon-free aluminium smelting technology.

It will sell this metal to Apple for use in its products. ELYSIS is working towards ramping up its process to a commercial scale, and this announcement marks a step in that process.

Apple’s purchase represents an important milestone for ELYSIS, a joint-venture between Alcoa and Rio Tinto, which is working to revolutionise the aluminium industry with an innovation that emits pure oxygen, eliminates all direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reduces operating costs when compared to the traditional smelting process.

As part of Apple’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its products through innovation, the company helped accelerate the development of this technology. Apple partnered with both aluminium companies, and the Governments of Canada and Quebec, to collectively invest a combined $144 million to future research and development. The breakthrough technology was announced by all parties in Saguenay, Canada last year.

This month, ELYSIS will make its first shipment to Apple of GHG free metal, produced at the Alcoa Technical Center (ATC) in Pittsburgh. The patent-protected technology, developed by Alcoa, has been producing metal at different R&D scales at ATC since 2009.

Vincent Christ, President and CEO of ELYSIS said: “This sale is an important milestone for ELYSIS and a sign of our progress over our first year of operation. It confirms the market interest in aluminium produced using our breakthrough carbon free smelting technology. We are continuing to progress further development of our technology, with our focus on bringing it to market to revolutionise the industry.”

This first sale delivered through Rio Tinto’s commercial network demonstrates the market potential for aluminium made using ELYSIS’ technology, as the demand for environmentally sustainable products grows.

Alf Barrios, Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive said: “Rio Tinto is proud to help deliver through our commercial network the sale of the industry’s first aluminium produced using carbon free smelting technology. This is another important step towards zero carbon aluminium and a more sustainable future.”