Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023
    Graphite Made of Wood Chips and Sawdust: A Sustainable Alternative for EV Batteries

    A New Zealand-based startup, CarbonScape, has secured an $18 million investment to commercialize its innovative graphite made of wood chips and sawdust for electric vehicle (EV) batteries in Europe and the US. The renewable forestry company Stora Enso and battery maker Amperex Technology (ATL) are among the investors in CarbonScape.

    CarbonScape’s “biographite” is a sustainable alternative to synthetic (petroleum-based) and natural (mined) graphite, which is a crucial component in lithium-ion batteries. The company has spent seven years developing its patented process for creating biographite from forestry and timber industry byproducts. Compared to synthetic or mined graphite, biographite has a carbon negative footprint and can save up to 30 tonnes of CO2 emissions per tonne of material. This wood-based graphite has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of each EV battery by almost 30%, leading to a significant decrease in the sector’s emissions.

    The investment funds will be used by CarbonScape to scale its business and further develop plans for production facilities in Europe and the US. While the details of the patented process remain undisclosed, the participation of reputable companies like Stora Enso and the increasing demand for graphite alternatives indicate potential success for CarbonScape. Furthermore, Stora Enso is also collaborating with Northvolt on a similar technology that utilizes wood products in batteries, demonstrating a growing interest in sustainable materials.

    As the world faces a projected global supply deficit of graphite by 2030, the development of biographite offers a promising solution. While it is still early stages, the investment in CarbonScape and the involvement of influential companies suggest that graphite alternatives may play a significant role in the future of EV batteries. It is worth monitoring the progress of CarbonScape and similar initiatives in this space.

    Sources: CarbonScape, Electrek