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Northvolt develops wood-based batteries for electric cars

The Swedish startup Northvolt wants to make electric car batteries more sustainable in the future. Together with their Finnish colleagues from Sotra Enso, they want to develop batteries that are wood-based.

Northvolt is developing batteries made of wood

Nirthvolt was founded back in 2015 by two former Tesla managers with the goal of establishing battery production in Europe along the lines of the Tesla Gigafactories. In Sweden, the company’s home country, it has already been producing battery cells since the end of 2021.

Two factories are also currently being reached in Germany, for which orders worth $55 billion have already been received from customers such as BMW, Scania, Volkswagen and Polestar. One of the battery factories is currently being built in Schleswig-Holstein.

In addition to traditional batteries for electric cars, however, Northvolt is also researching a new, recyclable e-car battery based on wood, which it plans to develop together with the Finnish company Stora Enso.

Battery based on lignin

Northvolt and Stora Enso are collaborating to develop “the world’s first industrialized battery with an anode made entirely from European raw material”. The company writes this in the press release on its own homepage.

The company hopes this will not only reduce its carbon footprint, but also minimize costs. The battery cells are made of lignin, solid biopolymers derived from the cell walls of wood and plants.

Lignin triggers the lignification of cells, with about 20 to 30 percent of the dry passasses of lignified plants existing as lignins. This makes them, along with cellulose and chitin, the most abundant organic compounds on earth. Or, in short, lignin is abundant.

Stora Enso contributes the lignin, which has already been produced industrially since 2015 at their factory in Sunila, Finland. According to the company, 50,000 tons of lignin can be produced annually, marking the company from Finland as the world’s largest producer.

Conversion to hard carbon

Northvolt and Stora Enso further process the material, called lignode, into hard carbon, which can completely replace graphite, the material normally used in battery cells in electric cars.

This is already cheaper in production alone, but for the European market it also has the advantage that the anode of e-car batteries can thus be produced entirely from European raw materials. Up to now, the graphite used has been imported in further parts from China and other countries.

“With this partnership, we are exploring a new source of renewable raw material and further expanding the European battery production chain while creating a less expensive chemical battery composition,” reveals Emma Nehrenheim, chief environmental officer at Northvolt. In addition to the wood-based raw material, Northvolt plans to make at least 50 percent of all batteries built from recycled materials by 2030.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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The Swedish startup Northvolt wants to make electric car batteries more sustainable in the future. Together with their Finnish colleagues from Sotra Enso, they want to develop batteries that are wood-based. Northvolt is developing batteries made of wood Nirthvolt was founded back in 2015 by two former Tesla managers with the goal of establishing battery … (Weiterlesen...)

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