Northvolt is developing batteries with wood-based anodes

Northvolt is framed as one of the companies with the greatest future projection in the sector of specialists in batteries for electric cars. In the last hours it has been publicly announced joining Stora Enso to develop a sustainable battery equipped with a lignin-based hard carbon anodea component produced and extracted from the wood of trees.

This study, which has begun since the merger between the two companies, has the objective of being able to develop the first series-produced battery with an anode made entirely from European raw materials, as well as obtaining a significant reduction in the cost of production and the consequent carbon footprint, since the extraction of this material and subsequent treatment significantly reduces all these aspects with respect to batteries manufactured today. Specifically, they aspire for this material to be extracted mainly from local forests located in Nordic countries.

Reaching the goal of being able to mass-produce batteries with lignin-based anodes could be a benchmark for the industry, due to its ease of obtaining and handling, compared to the difficulty of the materials currently used, which continue in a significant price rise. These sustainable batteries would complete the catalog of models most used in the industry, such as in electric cars, industrial utilities or as a stationary source of energy for homes.

This material would lead to more sustainable and affordable batteries.

Stora Enso, for its part, will be a key company in this corporate union, since owns the patent and the different methods of using lignin, which they commercially call Lignode. The company has the key components and the experience with which they aspire to make this project possible. This company obtains the necessary material through the exploitation of its own forests managed in a sustainable way. From Northvolt they will be in charge of promoting the design of the cells, the development of the production process and the possible expansion of this technology. This is not the first time that both companies have come together, since a few months ago they also did the same for the purchase of an old paper mill in Sweden.

Lignin is a polymer produced by terra firma plants and found in their cell walls. The trees from which Store Enso extracts this material are composed of between 20 and 30 percent lignin, which acts mainly as a natural, high-strength binder. This material is one of the largest renewable sources of carbon in the world.

According to Northvolt’s own environmental director, Emma Nehrenheim, with this association they aspire to be able to exploit a new source of sustainable raw material that will result in an expansion in the value chain of European batteries, as well as presenting a particular chemistry that is much less expensive. and more friendly to the environment.

Store Enso has a pilot plant for bio-based carbon materials located in Finland, where it has been industrially extracting lignin since 2015. Annually, the company has a production capacity of around 50,000 tonswhich makes this company the largest operator of this material in the world.

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