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July 25, 2022

Northvolt and Stora Enso partner to produce wood-based batteries

The partners plan to use lignin-based hard carbon to make sustainable batteries.

Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt has signed a joint development agreement with Stora Enso to develop wood-based batteries.

According to a company statement, the batteries will feature an anode created using renewable raw materials procured from Nordic forests.

The partners plan to use lignin-based hard carbon from the forests to make the sustainable batteries.

Lignin is a polymer derived from the cell walls of dry-land plants. It can act as a natural and strong binder.

As part of the collaboration, Stora Enso will supply its lignin-based anode material Lignode, while Northvolt will be responsible for the cell design, technology and production processes.

Stora Enso Biomaterials executive vice-president Johanna Hagelberg said: “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.”

Stora Enso’s Sunila production site in Finland has been producing lignin since 2015. The company’s annual lignin production capacity currently stands at 50,000t.

Northvolt chief environmental officer Emma Nehrenheim 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.”

Founded in 2016, Northvolt focuses on delivering sustainable battery cells and systems.

Earlier this year, the company announced plans to build a 60GWh battery factory in Germany.

Located in Heide, Schleswig-Holstein, the plant will produce lithium-ion batteries for the European market.

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