Battery manufacturer Stora Enso and electric vehicle startup Northvolt have joined forces to create a wood-based battery. Stora Enso and Northvolt are collaborating to develop eco-friendly batteries made from a hard carbon derivative of lignin sourced from sustainably managed Nordic forests. To reduce carbon emissions and manufacturing costs, scientists are working to create the first industrialized battery with an anode made entirely from European raw materials.
The companies have signed a Joint Development Agreement to develop a sustainable battery with an anode made from renewable raw materials sourced sustainably and locally in the Nordic countries.
"Our goal is to supply the burgeoning battery market with renewable anode materials made from trees, and the joint battery development with Northvolt is a significant step toward that goal". According to Johanna Hagelberg, Stora Enso's Executive Vice President for Biomaterials, "Lignode by Stora Enso, our lignin-based hard carbon, will secure the strategic European supply of anode raw material, serving the sustainable battery needs for applications ranging from mobility to stationary energy storage."
The partnership between the two companies is strengthened by the essential components, skills, and knowledge each company contributes to the battery project. Northvolt will be responsible for cell design, production process development, and scaling up the technology. At the same time, Stora Enso will supply the lignin-based anode material Lignode, which comes from sustainably managed forests.
By working together, we can develop cheaper battery chemistry and investigate a new sustainable raw material for batteries in Europe. Northvolt's Chief Environmental Officer, Emma Nehrenheim, describes it as "an exciting demonstration" of the company's efforts to create a sustainable battery industry that benefits society.
The cell walls of plants that grow in arid environments contain a lignin polymer. Lignin makes up 20-30% of a tree's total mass as a natural and powerful binder. Carbon is one of the world's most significant renewable sources.
Since 2015, lignin has been manufactured at Stora Enso's Sunila production site in Finland, also home to the company's pilot plant for bio-based carbon materials. Stora Enso is the largest kraft lignin producer in the world, with an annual lignin production capacity of 50,000 metric tons. Additionally, the Group is conducting a feasibility study for its first commercial production of Lignode at the Sunila site.