QUT creates Australia’s first lithium-ion battery

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Australia’s first lithium-ion batteries have been made by researchers at Queensland University of Technology, who hope that this will kick-start an Australian battery manufacturing industry.

 

Australia's first lithium-ion batteries


The commercial-grade Li-Ion batteries were developed at a QUT pilot facility which is the only one in Australia with the low-humidity electro-manufacturing dry rooms needed for such production.

The Australia-first battery is the outcome of a three-year $4 million project, funded by the Auto Cooperative Research Centre and conducted in conjunction with the Malaysia Automotive Institute.

Professor Peter Talbot of the QUT Institute for Future Environments says the batteries are based on commercial battery formats comparable to those used to power Tesla vehicles.

"Importantly, as part of this project we identified the best lithium-based powders to use to create a battery of the highest energy-efficiency standards possible," he says.

"The powder is a combination of lithium and other compounds. We tested various compositions of chemicals until we were satisfied that we had achieved the best powder possible.

"Our process enables us to rapidly test and prototype rechargeable lithium-ion batteries of various shapes and sizes."

Professor Peter Talbot and his team at QUT's pilot plant facility at Banyo


Talbot says this process could be automated to enable Australia to have a competitive advantage in a manufacturing space that is currently dominated by China.

"As the middle class in the ASEAN region grows, so too will the demand for lithium-ion battery operated goods," he says.

"As more and more vehicles in the future are manufactured to run on battery power, the development of longer-lasting batteries will be crucial to a vehicle’s overall efficiency and appeal to consumers."

Lithium is mined in several countries including Australia. Professor Talbot says the QUT facility could add value to the mining industry as miners could have their materials validated at the plant.

 

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