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QUT scientists develop Australia’s first lithium-ion battery

September 21, 2017 • News

QUT researchers have created Australia’s first lithium-ion battery at a purpose built facility located within the university’s pilot plant precinct at Banyo on Brisbane’s northside.

QUT’s pilot facility, which is the country’s only facility capable of such manufacturing, features Australia’s only electro-manufacturing room with zero humidity and can rapidly prototype new battery formulations and cell types.

Professor Peter Talbot from QUT’s Institute for Future Environments said the batteries produced are the same format as those used to power Tesla cars.

“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 said.

“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.”

He said the research could help manufacturers kick-start an Australian battery manufacturing industry.

“This process could be automated to enable Australia to have a competitive advantage in a manufacturing space that is currently dominated by China,” Mr Talbot added.

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

“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.”

According to the Professor, the technology and processes developed at QUT can be used to produce batteries for specific commercial applications and are suitable for use by any commercial battery manufacturing company.

“We will be able to purpose build the most efficient batteries possible to power any number of devices and products including some of QUT’s key robots,” Mr Talbot concluded.

The battery was developed as part of a three-year, 4$ million project supported by the Auto Cooperative Research Centre in conjunction with the Malaysia Automotive Institute.

Image credit: www.qut.edu.au/institute-for-future-environments/

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