Stora Enso and Northvolt, an European supplier of sustainable battery cells and systems, have announced a partnership that aims to develop sustainable batteries using lignin-based hard carbon produced with renewable wood from the Nordic forests.
It also aims to develop the world’s first industrialised battery featuring anode sourced entirely from European raw materials, lowering both the carbon footprint and the cost.
“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,” said Johanna Hagelberg, executive vice-president for biomaterials at Stora Enso. “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.”
Both companies will bring key components, competence, and specialties to the battery partnership. Stora Enso will provide its lignin-based anode material Lignode, originating from sustainably managed forests, while Northvolt will drive cell design, production process development and scale-up of the technology.
“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,” said Emma Nehrenheim, chief environmental officer at Northvolt.
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 binder. Stora Enso reportedly produces 50,000 tonnes of lignin annually at their site in Finland.