Stora Enso’s pilot facility for producing bio-based carbon materials from lignin has started operations. This follows the company’s EUR 10 million investment announced in 2019. Pilot production of Lignode by Stora Enso, wood-based carbon for batteries, is currently being ramped up. Applications include electric vehicles and consumer electronics, as well as large-scale energy storage systems.
The global battery market is projected to grow tenfold over the next decade as battery producers seek more sustainable materials for the electrification of mobility. Since sustainability is becoming a top priority for the automotive industry, car manufacturers and battery producers focus heavily on reducing carbon emissions in electric cars.
Today, fossil-based carbon is used in the anodes of rechargeable batteries. By converting lignin separated from wood into carbon-based anode materials, synthetic and non-renewable graphite material can be replaced.
Stora Enso to replace the conventionally used graphite
“With our pilot plant now ramping up operations, Stora Enso is entering a new value chain in supplying more sustainable anode materials for batteries. With Lignode, we can provide a bio-based, cost-competitive, and high-performance material to replace the conventionally used graphite. To serve the fast-growing anode materials market, we are now exploring strategic partnerships to accelerate scale-up and commercialization in Europe,” says Markus Mannström, Executive Vice President of company’s biomaterials division.
The pilot plant for bio-based carbon materials is located at Stora Enso’s Sunila production site in Finland, where lignin has been industrially produced since 2015. The biorefinery’s annual lignin production capacity is 50 000 tonnes, making the company as the largest Kraft lignin producer in the world.