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DEAL YIELDS PASCO JOBS

A $200 million pact with China means an Odessa company will add 1,000 positions.

A local company that has 18 employees plans to add 1,000 jobs over the next five years, thanks to a $200 million trade agreement with China.

Dais Analytic got its start producing high-tech filter membranes to improve air quality and cut energy costs in homes and businesses. It has expanded to develop products for desalination, wastewater treatment and energy storage, among other things.

The company struck an agreement to sell its products to a subsidiary of the Chinese government.

County officials cheered the agreement as another example of Pasco County realizing its goal of transforming itself from a bedroom community to one that offers high-paying jobs close to home - especially at a time when Pasco's unemployment rate is more than 12 percent.

"It's a great example of a company going out and doing a great job," said County Commission Chairman Jack Mariano, who serves on the board of the Pasco Economic Development Council.

County Commissioner Michael Cox, who has made jobs the priority of his tenure, agreed.

"That's certainly right there among the targeted industries because it's going to bring money into Pasco County but won't be reliant on Pasco County," he said.

Dais Analytic is making a formal announcement at 10 a.m. Wednesday and will provide product demonstrations, said Erin Gray, a public relations representative for the company.

Company chief executive Timothy Tangredi declined to discuss specifics of the deal - including the products involved - before Wednesday's announcement.

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 tax breaks and assistance. The company specializes in nanotechnology: crafting materials that work with matter on the atomic and molecular level.

A nanometer measures one-billionth of a meter.

Pasco County offers a perfect working environment for the company's polymer materials: lots of heat, lots of humidity.

Its first commercial product, called ConsERV, is used with heating, air-conditioning and ventilation systems. It uses a membrane with microscopic channels that allow molecules of water to pass through the filter.

Incoming and outgoing air pass through the membrane in separate channels, with the outgoing air helping to cool the incoming warm air. The humidity in the air is condensed to molecules, so it becomes vapor with no condensation.

Using the membrane to bring fresh, filtered air into the home or business can save energy costs and reduce pollution, the company says.

The company developed another specialized membrane for desalination and wastewater treatment. The membrane rejects dissolved solids and organic materials while allowing water molecules to pass through.

Dais Analytic has explored using its membranes in other ways, including military and hazardous waste uniforms, athletic wear and energy-efficient dryers. The company has even looked at whether its membranes could be used for treating wounds because they absorb moisture and can keep bacteria out.

Lisa Buie can be reached at buie@sptimes.com or (813) 909-4604.

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