ODESSA — A Pasco County nanotechnology company that last year signed a $200 million deal with China has won a $680,000 research grant to help improve energy efficiency.
Dais Analytic Corp. was among six firms to split $9.6 million from the U.S. Energy Department, which announced the awards over the weekend.
The projects are focused on improving energy efficiency in buildings by reducing loads on air conditioners; reducing costs associated with generating electricity from solar power; and improving efficiency and power density of electric machines.
"By investing in transformative ideas now, we are laying the foundation for a new clean energy future," Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement. "The … program is helping to ensure U.S. leadership in science and technology, restore our global competitiveness, and create thousands of jobs."
Born about 10 years ago from an idea for developing fuel cells at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., Dais Analytic opened in Pasco County in 1998, lured by $1.2 million in tax breaks and assistance. The company specializes in nanotechnology: crafting materials that work with matter on the atomic and molecular level.
Dais Analytic has developed proprietary technology that allows water molecules to pass through a specially formulated membrane. Its applications are extensive in water purification, dehumidification, desalination and similar processes.
Last year, the company announced a deal to sell its air filtration system to China, a deal it said would bring 1,000 jobs to Pasco over the next five years.
The deal also calls for developing a prototype wastewater treatment plant in northern China that would use Dais' nanotech product to clean polluted water.
The other grant winners are GE Global Research, Niskayuna, N.Y.; Makani Power Inc., Alameda, Calif.; Sustainable Energy Solutions, Provo, Utah; Teledyne Scientific & Imaging LLC, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; and the University of California, Los Angeles.