The development of this wood-based battery is an attempt by a Swedish battery manufacturer to reduce dependence on raw materials from outside Europe. This project develops the first industrial battery featuring anodes sourced entirely from European raw materials.
Not only reducing dependence on raw materials from outside Europe, this effort is also seen as a step to increase the carbon footprint of the production process and also reduce costs.
“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.” says Johanna Hagelberg, Executive Vice President for Biomaterials at Stora Enso
Northvolt and Stora Enso will bring “bringing key components, competencies and expertise to the battery partnership,” Northvolt said in a press release.
Wood is definitely not a common material used for battery production. However, several studies have made it possible to make batteries made of wood. Researchers from Brown University and the University of Maryland used cellulose nanofibrils found in wood to develop ion conductors. The material is combined with copper and allows lithium ions to travel at “record efficiency,” according to NewAtlas.
The huge potential of EV adoption makes the need for batteries important. Widely available alternative materials can attract the electric vehicle industry to use them. Especially with the supply chain problems that hit almost all electric vehicle manufacturers today. This innovation can reduce pressure on battery suppliers and will help EV adoption.
“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,” said Emma Nehrenheim, Northvolt Chief Environmental Officer.