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Pilot plant opens to produce lithium-ion battery anode materials from trees

Fri, 08/13/2021 - 16:53 -- Paul Crompton
Lignose powder

Renewable materials company Stora Enso has started producing wood-based carbon for lithium-ion batteries at its pilot facility in Finland.

The pilot facility is ramping up production to supply anode materials that replace the synthetic and non-renewable graphite following a €10 million ($11.8 million) investment in 2019.

The wood-based carbon material will have a number of applications, including electric vehicles and consumer electronics as well as large-scale energy storage systems.

The plant will produce Lignode, which is made from lignin, a existing by-product in the production of cellulose fibre and naturally occurring in trees.

Markus Mannström, executive vice president of Stora Enso’s Biomaterials division, said: “With our pilot plant now ramping up operations, we are entering a new value chain in supplying more sustainable anode materials for batteries. 

“With Lignode, we can provide a bio-based, cost-competitive and high-performance material to replace the conventionally used graphite. To serve the fast-growing anode materials market, we are now exploring strategic partnerships to accelerate scale-up and commercialisation in Europe.”

The pilot plant for bio-based carbon materials is located at Stora Enso’s Sunila production site in Finland, where lignin has been industrially produced since 2015. 

The bio-refinery’s annual lignin production capacity is 50,000 tonnes, making Stora Enso the largest kraft lignin producer in the world. 

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