Sunila Mill pilot plant and the future of batteries

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Published 15 July 2021
The Sunila Mill in Finland was designed by famous Finnish designer AlvarAalto, and it started its production in 1938. Since 2015 it has been producing lignin, and now we've added a pilot plant for refining the material and turning it into hard carbon to replace graphite in lithium-ion batteries. This is a EUR 10 million investment that fits well to help further develop the region.

Sustainable lithium-ion batteries

At Stora Enso, we believe that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today, can be made from a tree tomorrow.

The pilot plant at Sunila Mill is yet another proof that this can be done. By converting lignin into hard carbon anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, we can offer a product that replaces fossil-based anodes, such as graphite.

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

 

Facts about Sunila Mill

  • Stora Enso Division: Biomaterials

  • Products: softwood pulp, lignin, tall oil and turpentine

  • Annual capacity: 375 000 tonnes (pulp) and 50 000 tonnes (lignin)

  • Number of employees: over 150

  • Founded in 1938 and designed by Alvar Aalto

Why replace graphitic carbon in batteries?

Why replace graphite carbon in batteries?

The battery market is expected to tenfold in the coming decade as we’re moving towards electrification across society. But with that comes challenges, since graphite is either synthesised from fossil materials or mined under less than satisfactory conditions. Lignin, on the other hand, is a renewable material and one of the main building blocks of a tree. It is also an existing side-stream in cellulose fiber production.

Learn more

Scalable production of hard carbon

At the pilot plant at Sunila Mill, we are proving that we can provide the market with hard carbon at a commercial scale. In fact, we see a future potential to produce tens of thousands of tonnes of hard carbon every year, per factory.

The Sunila facility is versatile and allows for development of particular grades in collaboration with battery cell manufacturers. This means that the Sunila Mill can meet the requirements for almost any type of lithium-ion battery in the future.

Carbon for energy storage, a scalable renewable material

Regional development

Stora Enso has invested EUR 10 million in the making of bio-based carbon materials for energy storage at Sunila Mill. This fits well with a Finnish focus on supplying battery companies with materials and will help further development of the region.

Join us in the eco-evolution, by making batteries from trees!

Reach out to us if you are interested in collaborating on the next generation if lithium-ion batteries.

Contact us

Part of the bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction and paper. We employ some 23 000 people and have sales in more than 50 countries and our shares are listed on the Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Stockholm (STE A, STE R) stock exchanges.

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