Like a Breath of Fresh Air

Fa­ther and son duo Jeff and Jon Ben­nert never in­tended to build a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar global air pu­ri­fier busi­ness out of Amar­illo, 7exas.

Inc. (USA) - - LEAD -

But that’s ex­actly what they’ve done with Air Oa­sis, a com­pany whose ground­break­ing tech­nol­ogy lit­er­ally changes the bac­te­rial makeup of the air you breathe to keep you safer and health­ier.

Just how did Amar­illo be­come the global head­quar­ters of the most in­no­va­tive air pu­ri­fier com­pany in the world?

“We ac­tu­ally had a well­ness cen­ter here in Amar­illo for years,” says (Dr.) Jeff Ben­nert. And be­cause we be­lieve over­all well­ness in­cor­po­rates good nu­tri­tion, clean wa­ter, and clean air, we ini­tially be­came re­sellers for other air pu­rifi­ca­tion com­pa­nies. ȋ That was when the Ben­nerts no­ticed that what passed for an air pu­ri­fier was lit­tle more than a motor, a fan, and a fil­ter that did noth­ing to change the ac­tual air qual­ity. Con­vinced there had to be a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive, they de­cided, in typ­i­cal Amar­il­loan “can do” fash­ion, to come up with some­thing bet­ter.

Tap­ping into the world-class tal­ent at nearby West Texas A&M Univer­sity – where re­search part­ner Dr. Nabarun Ghosh spe­cial­izes in al­ler­gen and air qual­ity re­search – the Ben­nerts came across nan­otech­nol­ogy. “That led to us devel­op­ing our own pro­pri­etary tech­nolo­gies that we put in all our prod­ucts,” says Jon Ben­nert. And Air Oa­sis was born.

Air Oa­sis prod­ucts com­prise two com­ple­men­tary pieces us­ing two dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies, that are in­stalled at the same time, such as into an air con­di­tion­ing unit. The first, AHPCO Ad­vanced Hy­drated Photo Cat­alytic Ox­i­da­tion tech­nol­ogy, es­sen­tially mim­ics how re­dun­dant air-cleans­ing ions are formed in na­ture from wa­ter va­por, and which ac­tively seek out and neu­tral­ize pol­lu­tants.The sec­ond, bipo­lar ion­iza­tion tech­nol­ogy, pro­duces both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive ions, that are dis­persed through­out your home to hunt the pol­lu­tants down. Once their job is done, they re­vert back to harm­less wa­ter va­por, and the cy­cle gets re­peated.

“So ba­si­cally,” says Jon Ben­nert, “we turn your en­tire air con­di­tioner into a whole home air pu­ri­fier.

A $ 75,000, loan got Air Oa­sis o the ground in 2004. But it wasn’t un­til a few years later, when they won the Amar­illo En­terPrize Chal­lenge Ȃ a pro­gram of the WT En­ter­prise Cen­ter, funded by the Amar­illo Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion – that the com­pany re­ally started to take o . “We needed to buy [a] CNC ma­chine in or­der to ex­pand and didn’t have the cash flow for it. 7hat money that we won [through the En­terPrize Chal­lenge] was the ex­act amount we needed.”

“It was re­ally a bless­ing, and we have that ma­chine to this day.”

Air Oa­sis now oc­cu­pies al­most 20,000 square feet of space in Amar­illo, the re­search and assem­bly hub for its 13 prod­uct lines that span res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial, and HVAC sec­tors. The Ben­nerts don’t see that chang­ing any­time soon.

“We’re cen­trally lo­cated in the U.S., so we can ship any­where in about 3-4 days,” says Jon Ben­nert. “The cost of do­ing busi­ness is much lower here, and it’s great to be plugged into a sup­port­ive busi­ness net­work like the Amar­illo Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion and Amar­illo En­ter­prise Net­work.” Adds Dr. Ben­nert: “It’s safe too, and the com­mu­nity is re­ally sup­port­ive. Amar­illo is home.” In­deed, why leave when ev­ery­thing they need is right in Amar­illo"

Pic­tured clock­wise from top the Amar­illo sky­line at night; on the beaten path at the Palo 'uro Canyon )airly Group “dis­rup­tors” Alex Fairly and Bill Cree­don; as­pir­ing mu­si­cians at the Amar­illo Youth Sym­phony Orches­tra pro­gram; and Air Oa­sis en­vi­ron­men­tal en­trepreneurs -e and -on Ben­nett.

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