ODESSA — Since moving to Pasco County in 1990, Dais Analytic has had its share of splashy news conferences and big announcements. That's not what Monday's event at a remote sewer treatment plant was for.
Dais CEO Tim Tangredi invited county officials to get a first-hand look at the water treatment system developed in Pasco County that can turn the wastewater into some of the purest liquid on earth — 1,000 times cleaner than U.S. EPA drinking water standards. NanoClear uses Dais' patented Aqualyte membrane to filter water on a molecular level — a process more efficient and cost-effective than reverse osmosis.
To prove his point, Tangredi sipped the reclaimed water from a beaker and passed it around for others to taste. “This is a testament to American innovation,” he said. “If it weren't for the people standing here today, none of this would be possible. I do believe government and industry can work together, and it's not always about money. It can also be about access to facilities.”
The company's primary product is ConsERV, which is designed to make traditional air conditioning systems more efficient by dehumidifying air before it enters the system.
The county gave Dais $1 million more than a decade ago when its owners relocated from upstate New York. In 2010, the county invested another $250,000 in Dais for the development of NanoAir, a refrigerant-free heating and cooling system. Pasco could earn up to $1 million in royalties if the product ever becomes commercially viable.
But the company has struggled financially and has found it difficult to commercialize its products. A $200 million deal with Chinese distributor, Genertec, was supposed to make Dais a global player in the green energy market. When it was announced in 2009, Tangredi predicted the company would add 1,000 workers to meet the demand from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
But two years into the contract, Genertec bowed out — saying they found “the NanoAir and NanoClear to have engineering requirements they are not best suited to undertake,” according to Dais Analytic's 2012 annual report. Dais terminated the agreements in late 2012.
Tangredi said the Genertec experience hasn't soured the company on China. While Dais has sold ConsERV systems in the U.S., South America, Europe and Middle East, Tangredi said his primary focus continues to be on the nation with the greatest potential market: China.
In January the company announced a new partnership with SOEX Industry & Investments Co. of Hong Kong that should generate $7 million in sales of ConsERV in its first year. Tangredi says this won't be a repeat of the Genertec experiment.
“SOEX already has an existing manufacturing and distribution network in the construction industry in China,” Tangredi said. “We have two distributors selling ConsERV in China now, that's going to grow exponentially. They get it — they understand it. They're already putting it into their building specs.”
Tangredi said the NanoClear pilot project in Odessa was instrumental in helping Dais seal the deal with SOEX. “There's one word: huge,” he said. “We're building a prototype in China that's five times the size of this one.”
County Administrator Michele Baker said the county's investment in Dais years ago, in the form of an economic development grant, could pay huge returns. “Not only in terms of job creation, but also becoming known as an area for clean technology and innovation. That all goes to the county brand.”