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Sodium-ion battery electrode made of wood underpins the most sustainable cell without lithium or cobalt

Lignode hard carbon electrode material (image: Stora Enso)
Lignode hard carbon electrode material (image: Stora Enso)
A new sodium-ion battery electrode material called Lignode is making its way into what could become the world's most sustainably built EV and energy storage battery with fast charging capability.

A new electrode material made of wood pulp will be used to build a sustainable sodium-ion battery.

Called Lignode, the hard carbon material is made of tree lignin that is a byproduct of Swedish forest company Stora Enso's wood pulp mills.

Lignode will replace what would have otherwise been graphite anode in the sodium-ion batteries of Swedish developer Altris, diversifying the supply chain away from China, which is the source of 90% of the graphite in EU-made products.

Stora Enso has a similar sustainable electrode partnership with Northvolt, but over lithium batteries. It has managed to turn the 20%-30% lignin in wood to hard carbon material whose sheets can replace anode graphite and allow very fast charging.

The plentiful and renewable material that goes into Lignode gives it "the potential to become the most sustainable anode material in the world," tips Stora Enso.

Since Altris is developing a 200 Wh/kg sodium-ion battery that also uses a cheap and abundant Prussian white concoction of sodium, iron, nitrogen, and carbon for the cathode, Stora Enso adds that it "aligns perfectly with our common commitment to support the ambition of more sustainable electrification."

Sodium-ion battery projects are multiplying as their former Achilles heel - energy density - is increasing to the point where they have already entered mass production, and are being used in grid-level energy storage applications.

Their development and mass production push is mainly coming from China, though, so inventions like Lignode and the sustainable sodium-ion battery of Altris might prevent the future dependency on Chinese companies in yet another promising battery technology. 

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 06 > Sodium-ion battery electrode made of wood underpins the most sustainable cell without lithium or cobalt
Daniel Zlatev, 2024-06-11 (Update: 2024-06-11)