Paper industry waste material is being turned into electrolyte to store electrical energy for the next generation of flow batteries.
By one estimate, the world’s pulp mills generate about 50 million metric tons of lignin annually, yet they choose to recover only about 2% of it. In Malaysia alone, almost 20 million tons of lignin-containing oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) fiber waste was produced in 2018. The race is on to valorise this waste material.
International research teams and companies have already proven that lignin is potentially suitable as a starting material for the production of electrolytes.