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, an 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.