Stora Enso's bio-based battery material Lignode® by Stora Enso has won the Metsä360 award in Finland. The EUR 30 000 prize, funded by the Marjatta and Eino Kolli Foundation was granted for the second time, was announced at the Lahti Science Day on 18 November 2021.
The jury concluded that the renewable and non-toxic Lignode, that is produced as a pulp production by-product at Stora Enso’s Sunila Mill in Finland, offers opportunities on a global scale. As a material for lithium-ion batteries, lignin significantly increases its added value and has the potential to radically transform traditional industries.
"We warmly thank the Marjatta and Eino Kolli Foundation and LUT University for the Metsä360 award, which promotes innovations, solutions or activities aiming at increasing the processing value of our forests,” says Lauri Lehtonen, SVP Innovations at Stora Enso's Biomaterials division.
"At our pilot plant in Kotka, Finland, we produce lignin-based carbon material as an alternative to the fossil-based graphite that is traditionally used in batteries. This allows us to develop and utilise bio-based chemical intermediates and forest industry by-products in a versatile way," says Lehtonen.
Battery manufacturers are looking for more sustainable materials for e-mobility solutions. The growing importance of sustainability in the automotive industry has led car and battery manufacturers to invest heavily in reducing carbon emissions of electric vehicles.
Stora Enso will donate the entire prize money to Finnish Forest Museum Lusto, whose exhibitions, collections, events, and theme days provide a diverse and illustrative insight into the significance of forests in the life of Finns.
An expert group consisting of representatives from LUT University, the Kolli Foundation and the Natural Resources Institute Finland had identified candidates with a significant impact on increasing the added value of forests and invited the most inspiring ones as the award finalists in spring 2021. In addition to Stora Enso, the nominees were OiOi Collective Oy and Kuhmo-based wood product cluster Woodpolis.