Batteries made of wood on national television – WWSC members the founders

The possibility of using the forest as raw material for energy storage is gaining increased interest. This week the work on wood-based batteries by the innovative start-up company Ligna Energy was featured in the news program Rapport on the Swedish national television. But did you know that WWSC researchers are the founders of the company?
Ligna Energy på rapport

– Indeed, this has been a long adventure, and it is not yet finished, says Professor Xavier Crispin, Linköping University.

He tells that it started many years ago when Professor Olle Inganäs (now retired) made the discovery that it is possible to use lignin in energy storage when it is combined at the molecular level with an electrically conducting polymers. This discovery was published in Science in 2011 and was the start of the research that then came to include also Xavier’s research group and the research group by Professor Magnus Bergren

In 2017, the three professors founded the company Ligna Energy, which continues to have close cooperation with the researchers at Laboratory of Organic Electronics at Linköping University. While the company is developing the industrial processes and application, the fundamental research questions are adressed within WWSC.

– Today, we want to come back to the fine chemical details of lignin and understand more about the fundame ntal properties, says Xavier.

– The possibilities of collaboration that WWSC offers is here a key, and we are for instance collaborating with Olena Sevastyanova at KTH.

See the feature about Ligna Energy in Rapport here (note that it is only possible to view in Sweden)

Professor Xavier Crispin gives example of how the research and collaboration with Ligna Energy works and how collaboration with industry can drive fundamental research forward:

The four publications below have been done within the WWSC and are part of the technology maturing at Ligna Energy AB.

We started with lignin combined with conducting polymers:

Adv. Sustainable Syst. 2019, 3, 1900039.

Then it was too expensive for industrial application, so we shifted to conducting carbon and lignin

ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2020, 8, 17933−17944;

Then we introduced the lignin-carbon electrode in the first “working” aqueous organic battery

Adv. Energy Sustainability Res., 3: 2100165;

Then we demonstrated the possibility to print the lignin-carbon batteries thanks to a new polymer electrolyte. Journal of Power Sources, 524, 2022, 231103;