Students from the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering have won $1000 to advance their process by which oxygen and nitrogen can be harnessed in solid form. The students hope to use their technology to devise a replacement for the bulky and heavy compressed-gas tanks used by SCUBA divers. They call their proposed product “Solid Air”.

“Standard chemical reactions are involved,” prize-winner Patrick Gumusoglu explains, “and our system would be a great deal lighter, smaller and cheaper than those used now.” The technology is patent-pending.