Northvolt, Stora Enso to Develop Batteries From Forestry Byproduct Lignin: Details

Swedish battery maker Northvolt and Finnish-Swedish forestry company Stora Enso are trying to develop batteries from forestry byproduct lignin, the companies said on Friday. A part of wood that binds tree fibres together, lignin accounts for 20-30 percent of a tree and used to be burned for energy. After years of research and development, it could be turned into new products by forestry giants letting go of paper.

“Our lignin-based hard carbon…will secure the strategic European supply of anode raw material,” head of Stora’s biomaterials unit Johanna Hagelberg said in a statement outlining a development agreement between the companies.

Northvolt in February bought an old Swedish paper mill from Stora to turn it into a cathode material factory by late 2024 with an annual production capacity of over 100 gigawatt hours.

German carmaker Volkswagen has been investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Northvolt in order to secure battery supply for its electric vehicles.

In March 2017, Stora’s head of innovation Mikael Hannus told Reuters that commercial production of lignin-based products would be 5-10 years away.

Earlier this week, leading Indian and Israeli companies teamed up to create cutting edge aluminium-air batteries for electric vehicles that could make their adoption easier in the country by extending their driving range without the need for charging infrastructure, reduce battery imports, and enhance energy security.

Aditya Birla Group’s metal flagship, Hindalco, signed an MoU with Phinergy, a leading Israel-based pioneer in metal-air battery technology, and IOC Phinergy Private Limited (IOP) – a joint venture between Phinergy and Indian Oil Corporation, to create aluminium-air batteries for electric vehicles, according to the companies.

The EV market, which would be the primary segment for Aluminium-Air batteries, is projected to achieve cumulative sales of 80 million units by 2030, according to a joint report by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and NITI Aayog.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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