Northvolt and Stora Enso Collaborate on Lignin-Based Battery Anodes

Published on: 24 July 2022
by KnowESG
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Northvolt intends to manufacture battery cells from locally produced sustainable materials such as lignin derived from trees.

Lignin is a polymer found in the cell walls of plants on dry land. It gives trees, which can contain up to 30 per cent lignin, their strength. Additionally, it is one of the largest renewable carbon sources. 

Northvolt, a Swedish battery producer, is keenly interested in procuring a greater proportion of its raw materials from local sources since businesses everywhere realise that excessive reliance on distant suppliers can result in significant supply chain disruptions.

Stora Enso, a Finnish-based firm, claims to be the world's largest private forest owner. Its business is focused on supplying the worldwide population with sustainable products for packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction, and paper. 

The firm states, "We think that everything manufactured from fossil-based products now can be made from trees tomorrow."

Northvolt and Stora Enso announced this week in a news release that they are collaborating to manufacture sustainable batteries using lignin-based hard carbon derived from renewable wood from Nordic forests. 

The objective is to create the world's first industrialised battery with an anode derived solely from European raw materials, thereby reducing both carbon footprint and cost.

Stora Enso's head of biomaterials, Johanna Hagelberg, said: "The joint battery development with Northvolt marks a step on our journey to serve the fast-growing battery market with renewable anode materials made from trees. Lignode, our lignin-based hard carbon, will secure the strategic European supply of anode raw material, serving the sustainable battery needs for applications from mobility to stationary energy storage."

Stora Enso will provide Lignode sourced from its sustainably managed woods, while Northvolt will be responsible for the technology's design, production process development, and scalability.

Emma Nehrenheim, chief environmental officer at Northvolt, said: "With this partnership, we are exploring a new source of sustainable raw materials and expanding the European battery value chain while also developing less expensive battery chemistry. It is an exciting demonstration of how our pursuit of a sustainable battery industry goes hand in hand with creating a positive impact both on society and cost."

Stora Enso has created a pilot plant for bio-based carbon materials at its production facility in Sunila, Finland, where it has been commercially producing lignin since 2015. Today, the company's annual lignin production capacity is 50,000 tonnes, making it the largest kraft lignin manufacturer in the world.

Source: Clean Technica

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