Northvolt has teamed up with Stora Enso to explore the possibility of developing batteries using wood-based products from Nordic forests.
They intend to use lignin-based hard carbon produced with wood, with the aim of developing the world’s first industrialised battery featuring anode sourced entirely from European raw materials, lowering the carbon footprint and the cost.
Lignin is a plant-derived polymer found in the cell walls of dry-land plants.
Trees are composed of 20% – 30% of lignin where it acts as a natural and strong binder, one of the biggest renewable sources of carbon.
Stora Enso will provide its lignin-based anode material Lignode, from sustainably-managed forests, while Northvolt will drive cell design, production process development and scale up of the technology.
Emma Nehrenheim, Chief Environmental Officer at Northvolt added: “With this partnership, we are exploring a new source of sustainable raw material and expanding the European battery value chain, while also developing a 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’s pilot plant for bio-based carbon materials, located at its Sunila production site in Finland, has an annual lignin production capacity of 50,000 tonnes.
Johanna Hagelberg, Executive Vice President for Biomaterials at Stora Enso added: “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.
“Our lignin-based hard carbon, Lignode® by Stora Enso, will secure the strategic European supply of anode raw material, serving the sustainable battery needs for applications from mobility to stationary energy storage.”