Courtesy Zero Mass Water

Hive 50 Honors

For securing resilient, off-grid access—via thermodynamics, materials science, and controls technology—to one of life’s precious essentials, water made from thin air, and making it an unlimited resource at a household level in any geography.

What You Need To Know

Founded in 2014, Scottsdale, Ariz.–based Zero Mass Water is doing for water what rooftop solar has proved to be for electric power, a harvesting device for molecules that converts environmental air into potable water by adding sunlight. Zero Mass Water’s Source Hydropanels extract water vapor from the air to make, mineralize, and deliver drinking water to communities, refugee camps, government offices, hotels, hospitals, schools, restaurants, and homes. In arrays of two 4-foot-by-8-foot hydropanels, in more than 33 countries on six continents, Source filters air before it passes through the system and water is kept clean with ozonation inside the integrated reservoir.

Who’s Involved

Cody Friesen, founder and CEO of Zero Mass Water. Series B and Series C investors—raising $22 million in March 2018, and $25 million in October 2018—include Skip Battle, Arnerich Massena’s 3x5 Partners, a growth-oriented fund, and Boston--based Material Impact. Partners include the Asian Development Bank, USAID, ARENA, Duke Energy, and the Royal Jordanian Court.

Time Stamp

Friesen, a materials scientist and engineering professor at Arizona State University, founded Zero Mass Water in 2014. A year later, he was named to a Henry Crown Fellowship, a 20-year-old program of the Aspen Institute. He also is the recipient of the 2019 Lemelson-MIT Prize, snaring $500,000.