Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt has been taking the time to explore the exciting possibility of developing batteries that utilize carbon contained in locally sourced wood to help lower their environmental impact and cost.
Alongside Finnish forestry company Stora Enso, Northvolt is looking to scale this wood battery anode technology and be a leader in sustainability.
Northvolt is a battery manufacturer that was founded by two former Tesla executives. Their initial goal was to recreate the "gigafactory" concept in Scandinavia, in which they'd be producing batteries at a "gigawatt-hour" level to support their growing demand for EV modules.
However, the startup secured funding to begin factory projects with several automakers, such as Volkswagen, BMW, and Volvo.
In late 2021, Northvolt began cell production at its first gigafactory, followed by news of a second factory coming to Sweden by 2025, and in March of 2022, a third gigafactory had been announced.
A critical component in these wood-base batteries is lignin, which is a plant-derived polymer found in the cell walls of dry-land plants.
According to Northvolt, lignin is one of the largest renewable sources of carbon anywhere.
Northvolt's chief environmental officer Emma Nehrenheim says:
"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."