Professor Talbot manufacturing lithium-ion batteries at QUT.

Ever since Elon Musk pledged to build the world's largest lithium ion battery on Australian soil, the power storage technology has been on everyone's mind. 

Despite the promise of more efficient energy storage, Australia hasn't had the capacity to build its own batteries - until now. 

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has created Australia's first lithium-ion battery at a purpose built $4 million AUD facility just north of Brisbane, and it's looking to teach businesses how to join in. 

"At the moment we can take someone to our facility and within an hour or two show them how to produce a lithium battery, and they can take it away in a device to run a little torch or something — it's not that hard," Professor Peter Talbot from QUT's Institute for Future Environments, said.

"We get in raw material from Australian suppliers and we develop the chemicals that go into the batteries and we actually roll and make the batteries and test them ourselves.
"This process could be automated to enable Australia to have a competitive advantage in a manufacturing space that is currently dominated by China."

Lithium ion batteries are one of the most popular type of rechargeable batteries, and are used in portable electronics from mobile phones, to power tools and drones.

Lithium is already mined in Australia, and Professor Talbot said the facility could add value and boost manufacturing efficiency.

"This is a good example of value from universities where we can interact with industry and help educate them and work with them to develop ongoing important industries in Australia," Professor Talbot said.

"This research wouldn't have been possible without the financial backing of the Australian and Malaysian governments and highlights the importance of international research partnerships in the efforts to solve global problems."

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