Stora Enso has won the Metsä360 Award. The winning solution is wood-based carbon that can be used to replace non-renewable graphite in batteries. The carbon is produced from renewable and non-toxic lignin produced at Stora Enso’s Sunila Mill as a by-product of pulp production. Typically, lignin is used as fuel for the same process. As a material for lithium-ion batteries, lignin significantly increases its added value.
The winner was chosen by VTT President and CEO Antti Vasara, Chair of Kemppi Oy Teresa Kemppi-Vasama as well as Roope Tonteri, forest owner and lumberman with multiple world championships in snowboarding. The winner was announced in a hybrid event on 18 November at the Lahti Science Day.
According to the panel, wood-based carbon is an effective way of promoting the transition from fossil raw materials to renewable ones. It crosses sectoral boundaries and has international potential. The innovation can also radically change traditional sectors as it is scaled up. The panel says that similar innovations are a prerequisite for the change needed in the world.
The Metsä360 Award highlights actions aimed at increasing the added value of forests. Funded by the Marjatta and Eino Kolli Foundation, the award amounts to EUR 30,000.
“We see global potential in this solution by Stora Enso. Now we will wait and see how the testing at the Sunila test mill progress. There seems to be interest among the battery industry”, comments member of the expert group, Economic Counsellor Esko Kolli, representative of the Marjatta and Eino Kolli Foundation.
Stora Enso is referring the awarded funds to Finnish Forest Museum Lusto. The award was now given out for the second time.
Three videos by young people were also awarded
Three forest-related videos by young people were also awarded at the Metsä360 Award event. The video competition is aimed at upper secondary school students, forestry sector students and scouts.
This year, the winning video was produced by Konsta Lähde, Eemeli Sjöblom and Juulia Käräjämies from Vihti Upper Secondary School and their teacher Iida Ruonala. The panel of the youth competition felt that the winning video was a great portrayal of the three students’ personal relationship with the forest.