Your New iPhone Could be Made of Green Aluminum

I know what you’re thinking... aluminum can’t be green. And while that may be true, it may not be the case in the near and foreseeable future. Let me explain.

American tech-giant Apple-- the company that invented iPhones and made the world awesome-- is investing $10 million in a venture designed to eliminate direct emissions from the making of aluminum that goes into our iPhones and iPads, a new process that could curb greenhouse gases from metal manufacturing worldwide.  If successful, green aluminum can help reduce Apple’s carbon footprint by nearly 24% and advance the company’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral and environmentally conscious in all the countries in which they operate in.

The process which makes green aluminum possible comes from a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based company: Alcoa; one of the world’s largest producers of aluminum. For years, they have been working on breakthrough technologies to change the way aluminum is produced. They call the new process inert anode smelting, which essentially is a change from the traditional forms of aluminum production, which typically involve applying strong electrical current to alumina produced from bauxite ore using a carbon material that burns during the process. That burning produces greenhouse gases. It’s clearly outdated technology; but the new process they have developed replaces the carbon with an advanced conductive material. The result? Instead of producing carbon dioxide, the new process produces only pure oxygen-- a game-changer for an industry which hasn’t changed much in the past few centuries. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the investment into new technologies and research for green, cleaner aluminum, falls in line with the company’s commitment to protecting our world’s environment and natural wonders, and ensures Apple remains a good steward and leader on climate action. 

It’s an exciting development, and one that holds great promise for the company and for the future of aluminum manufacturing. 

David Acosta