A New Zealand-based start-up, CarbonScape, has recently secured $18 million in funding from investors, including forestry firm Stora Enso and battery manufacturer Amperex Technology. This investment will support CarbonScape’s groundbreaking technology that can transform wood chips into graphite, potentially disrupting China’s monopoly in the graphite market.
Graphite is a critical component in the production of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles and energy storage, accounting for up to 50% of their weight. With a projected surge in global demand, it is estimated that there will be a deficit of 777,000 tonnes of graphite annually by 2030. Recognizing the need to reduce dependence on China, companies like Tesla have been seeking alternative graphite sources.
CarbonScape, established in New Zealand in 2006, has developed a patented process to produce «biographite» from wood chips and by-products of the forestry and timber industries. This sustainable and locally-produced alternative offers a notable reduction in carbon emissions, addressing a major contributor to carbon emissions in the battery raw materials supply chain. By transitioning to biographite, battery manufacturers could potentially reduce the carbon footprint of each battery by 30%.
The secured funding will allow CarbonScape to commence commercial production in Europe and the US. According to CarbonScape’s CEO, Ivan Williams, biographite enables the establishment of localized battery supply chains, which are vital for the widespread adoption of clean energy through mass electrification. The company aims to address supply chain instability and meet the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries.
By undermining China’s dominance in the graphite market, this breakthrough technology not only presents an opportunity for the Western battery industry to reduce its environmental impact but also strengthen its supply chain. With the support of investors and a focus on sustainable alternatives like biographite, the transition towards clean energy may be accelerated, promoting a more sustainable future.
– [Source 1]
– [Source 2]