A businessman has won a bet 16 years after shaking hands on the wager - by successfully selling fresh air to the world.

Andrew Ainge, the managing director of Bottled Atmosphere Ltd in Guiseley, bet a friend that the power of branding and marketing was such that even fresh air could be sold for a price.

And this year Mr Ainge collected his winnings after businesses signed up to sell Bottled Atmosphere in 13 countries.

"It took me 16 years to think about how to do it. Then I came up with the idea of it being not fresh air, but atmosphere, " he said.

At the moment Bottled Atmosphere offers ten situations in which customers might like to capture the moment in a bottle to keep forever.

Proud parents can bottle the air drawn by the first breath of their newborn baby, and newly-weds can capture the moment of their first married kiss.

Another 20 situations are in the pipeline and corporate companies are also looking to bank on the bottle's success.

Mr Ainge said the possibilities of collecting an everlasting memory were endless.

He said Bottled Atmosphere would be sponsoring the driver for the next water speed record attempt on Coniston Water later this year - and somebody would be there ready with a bottle to capture the possible record breaking moment.

The bottles come with instructions to help capture the moment successfully. And a list of ingredients - nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide - appear alongside warnings about bottling sensibly.

Each bottle can be personalised. Mr Ainge said the bottles had already been put to use by himself and several friends to celebrate new babies and weddings.

He compared buying someone a bottle to sending a greetings card, but said it had a longer-lasting impact.

"It's no different to a camera, it's just another version of a capture device, " he said. "It's funny and novel and inventive and different, " he said.

The product was officially launched earlier this month at the NEC in Birmingham.

Mr Ainge also owns the award-winning global colour technology, MetalFX and a chain of retailers known as Blanc Canvas.