Finnish forestry company Stora Enso and Swedish battery company Northvolt said they had formed a joint development agreement to make lithium-ion batteries using lignin-based hard carbon from Nordic forests.
The firms said the aim is 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 duo said both companies bring key components, competence, and expertise to the battery partnership. Stora Enso will provide its lignin-based anode material Lignode, which originates from sustainably managed forests. Northvolt will drive cell design, production process development and scale-up of the technology.
Emma Nehrenheim, chief environmental officer at Northvolt, said: “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.”
At the time of writing, no information was provided on the timetable for battery production or cost.
Lignin is a plant-derived polymer found in the cell walls of dry-land plants. Trees are composed of 20-30% of lignin, which acts as a natural and strong binder. It is one of the biggest renewable sources of carbon.
Stora Enso’s pilot plant for bio-based carbon materials is located at the Group’s Sunila production site in Finland, where lignin has been industrially produced since 2015.
The pilot plant’s annual lignin production capacity is 50,000 tonnes.