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Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Laboratory Kyle R. Appel

Kyle Appel


I grew up 30 minutes west of Pullman near Dusty Washington, working on a small dryland wheat farm that my father has operated since 1987. Early on in my life, I learned the value of a hard day’s work. I also developed a strong sense of problem-solving, having to fix combines and other agricultural equipment that had broken down in the field. Experiencing firsthand how the design of a mechanical system can impact long-term use, I decided to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Outside of work, I enjoy spending most of my time in outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and spending time with my friends.


For my undergraduate degree, I attended Washington State University where I obtained my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Agricultural Systems. The combination of these degrees allowed me to maintain my passion for mechanics and agriculture. I intend to use my degree to bring about change in agriculture with the help of my experiences working with hydrogen, making the practice more sustainable. The HYPER Lab has given me the opportunity to gain the necessary skills as well as work on unique projects that align with my goals.


I currently operate the Cryo-Catalysis Hydrogen Experimental Facility (CHEF) to evaluate catalysts for ortho-parahydrogen conversion at low temperatures. I am in the process of developing a hydrogen composition probe to measure the orthohydrogen content in a sample of hydrogen. For my thesis, I will optimize operation procedures for liquid hydrogen storage tanks. In pursuing my master’s degree, my dream is to convert a combine from diesel to hydrogen through electrification or combustion.