Imagine a machine that collected water from the air, broke the water down into hydrogen and oxygen, then used hydrogen as a power source. That’s the goal of Dr. Anthony Gannon, associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) school, and his rotating group of thesis students, who are applying their interdisciplinary education and research to support developing these new capabilities. Gannon has been working with students towards this goal since 2016.
The original idea was just the first part, collecting moisture from the atmosphere, but then MAE Chair Dr. Garth Hobson pushed Gannon to go further.
“When he saw what we’ve done there, he said, ‘You’ve got electricity and you’ve got water, so you might as well make hydrogen,’” Gannon says, recalling the conversation between him and Hobson.
Being able to get energy from moist…