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Laurel BioComposite opens Nebraska plant

By: Frank Esposito

October 1, 2013

Bioplastics maker Laurel BioComposite LLC has moved into a new 20,000 square foot plant in Laurel, Neb.

The Laurel-based firm marked the opening Sept. 25 with a ceremony attended by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, state director Maxine Moul and Laurel Mayor Mark Patefield. The plant currently operates a single production line with annual capacity of 7 million pounds. Laurel already is in the process of adding a second production line as well as bulk material handling. The site eventually will have annual capacity of 48 million pounds, officials said in a Sept. 29 news release.

Laurel's Bio-Res-brand bioresin is based on corn and can have bio-based content of up to 80 percent. The material can be blended with thermoplastics as a pellet or with thermosets as a powder. Officials said Bio-Res "is especially suited" for single-use products in industries such as shipping, lawn and garden, agricultural and automotive.

"Our product replaces a portion of traditional plastic resins and creates a positive environmental impact by reducing the industry's reliance on crude oil," Laurel CEO Tim Bearnes said in the release. "We don't make the plastic — we make the plastic greener."