On September 25, Laurel BioComposite LLC (Laurel, Nebraska) held an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony to recognize its recent move to its newly constructed 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The developer of trademarked Bio-Res PE also announced completion of its first production line, which is operational at a capacity of 7 million pounds a year. Bio-Res uses distillers grain, a byproduct of the ethanol process, to make a bio-based resin additive.
Tim Bearnes, CEO of Laurel BioComposite, was on hand to welcome special guests Gov. Dave Heineman, Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul, USDA Rural Development and Mayor Mark Patefield. “We held the event to celebrate some important milestones,” says Bearnes. “It also gave us the chance to thank a lot of people that supported our project from its inception and believe in our future.”
Laurel BioComposite’s mission Bearnes explains is to produce Bio-Res PE products from a renewable resource. “Our product replaces a portion of traditional plastic resins and creates a positive environmental impact by reducing the industry’s reliance on crude oil,” he says. “It remains our goal to cost-effectively manufacture a quality bio-based product. We don’t make the plastic. We make the plastic greener.”
The new production line converts feedstock into a powder for thermoset applications or master batch pellets for use in thermoplastics applications such as injection molding. Phase II, which includes a second production line and bulk material handling, is underway. Completion of Phase II will raise Laurel BioComposite’s annual capacity to 48 million pounds.
Bio-Res products are able to economically raise the renewable or “green” content of plastic products by as much as 40 percent. The bio-material is available in pellet formulations, which blend easily with polyethylene, polypropylene, polylactic acid and polyhydroxyalkanoates matrices. The product has been tested to replace 20 to 40 percent of the neat resin in a variety of manufacturing processes. Master batch pellets provide easy drop-in to thermoplastics formulations. Bio-Res PE is especially suited for single-use products as well as applications for a variety of industries including shipping, lawn and garden, agriculture and automotive.
For more information about Bio-Res PE and Laurel BioComposite visit: www.laurelbiocomposite.com.