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Stora Enso and Northvolt to develop bio-based batteries

Stora Enso and Northvolt to develop bio-based batteries
Lignin is a plant-derived polymer found in the cell walls of dry-land plants. Trees are composed of 20–30 percent of lignin, which acts as a natural and strong binder. 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 annual lignin production capacity is 50 000 tonnes, making Stora Enso the largest kraft lignin producer in the world, and is also evaluating its first industrial production of Lignode at the Sunila site through a feasibility study (photo courtesy Stora Enso).

In Sweden, global forest industry major Stora Enso Oyj and battery technology developer Northvolt AB are joining forces to create sustainable batteries using lignin-based hard carbon produced with renewable wood from the Nordic forests.

The companies have entered into a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to create a sustainable battery featuring anode produced from renewable raw materials sourced sustainably and locally in the Nordic countries.

The aim is to develop the world’s first industrialized battery featuring anode sourced entirely from European raw materials, lowering both the carbon footprint and the cost.

The joint battery development with Northvolt marks a step on our journey to serve the fast-growing battery market with renewable anode materials made from trees. Our lignin-based hard carbon, Lignode by Stora Enso, will secure the strategic European supply of anode raw material, serving the sustainable battery needs for applications from mobility to stationary energy storage, said Johanna Hagelberg, EVP for Biomaterials at Stora Enso.

Both companies bring key components, competence, and expertise to the battery partnership. Stora Enso will provide its lignin-based anode material Lignode, originating from sustainably managed forests, while Northvolt will drive cell design, production process development, and scale-up of the technology.

With this partnership, we are exploring a new source of sustainable raw material and expanding the European battery value chain, while also developing 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, said Emma Nehrenheim, Chief Environmental Officer at Northvolt.

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