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How we’re making batteries from trees: Lignode® by Stora Enso

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What if you could replace graphitic carbon in lithium-ion batteries with something more sustainable? Something made from trees? Lignode® by Stora Enso is a hard carbon that is a bio-based alternative made from lignin – an existing by-product in the production of cellulose fiber. Lignin is renewable, traceable and is already being produced in millions of tonnes in Europe – enabling the fast-growing battery business to become more sustainable.

The future of batteries is already here

It is necessary to revolutionise battery technology in order to sustainably cover the needs for energy storage in an electrified future. In ten years, the battery market is expected to grow tenfold. So, with increasing demands for electrification and rising standards of living, it’s essential that we find new and smarter technologies to meet the future.

One of the challenges of today’s lithium-ion batteries is the use of graphite. Graphite is a fossil carbon which is either mined or made from other fossil-based materials. The extraction through mining is often also done under less than satisfactory conditions, with social and environmental consequences.

At Stora Enso, we have therefore dedicated ourselves to coming up with a solution where graphite is replaced with hard carbon from lignin.

Develop tomorrow’s batteries together with us!

Watch our video, showcasing the functionality and benefits of making batteries more sustainable.

Download our white paper on how we use the power of trees to make a new kind of battery anode for electric vehicles

The white paper examines:

  • How electrification will drive an increase in battery production in coming years
  • Why production processes need to switch to more sustainable materials
  • How Lignode® enables batteries to be powered using pulp by-products

Download now


Download Lignode whitepaper

Hard carbon made from trees is sustainable

Trees are composed of 20-30% lignin, where it acts as a binder and gives wood its stiffness and resistance to rotting. It is one of the biggest renewable sources of carbon anywhere.

Being a side stream in the production of cellulose fiber, it is one of the biggest renewable sources of carbon anywhere. Most commonly side streams like lignin are burnt for energy, so by turning it into hard carbon we are making sure that more of the tree is put to good use.

The journey from a tree to a battery anode


Lignin (Stora Enso)

Lignin is separated from wood during the production of cellulose fibers.

Hard carbon powder

Hard carbon powder (Stora Enso)

The lignin is refined into a fine carbon powder, which serves as an active material for the negative anode of the lithium-ion battery.

Hard carbon electrode

Hard carbon electrode

The hard carbon powder is then used to produce electrode sheets and rolls.



Finally, the hard carbon electrodes are combined with positive electrodes, separator, electrolyte, and other components into a lithium-ion battery.

How it works

A lithium-ion battery consists of a positive electrode, a cathode, and a negative electrode – called an anode. When a battery is charged, lithium ions in the cathode move into the anode, where they connect with the carbon particles and are stored until the battery is discharged – which is what happens when you use your electronical device.

Today, the material used in the anode is often graphitic carbon – which is a strictly layered material that can have slow charging times. We can replace this fossil-based graphite with hard carbon from trees, which brings with it both technical and environmental benefits.

Carbon for energy storage: how it works
Carbon for energy storage, a scalable renewable material

A scalable, renewable material from Europe

The growing battery market has a demand for high-quality and attractively priced materials. Hard carbon from lignin is readily available and can replace fossil-based anode materials which are often of limited supply. It is a rational and scalable way to switch to a renewable resource that is available in Europe.

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Main advantages with hard carbon

Already a scalable model for commercial production

Already a scalable model for commercial production

Sustainably sourced from certified European forests
Sustainably sourced from certified European forests


Faster charging and discharging
Faster charging and discharging
Better performance at low temperatures
Better performance at low temperatures

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