Laurel Biocomposite opens new bioplastics plant in Nebraska

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AKRON, OHIO — The opening of a new bioplastics plant in Nebraska is featured in this week's Material Insights video.

Bioplastics maker Laurel Biocomposite opened the 25,000-square-foot plant in Laurel, Neb., on Sept. 25. The plant has annual capacity of 7 million pounds of corn-based BioRes-brand bioresin and eventually can be expanded to produce 48 million pounds.

Two plastics additives deals also are featured in this week's video. Clariant AG has purchased the organic pigment business of Jiangsu Multicolor Fine Chemical Co. Ltd. and will use that business to build a new plant in Zhenjiang, China. The business makes high-performance pigments for plastics, coatings and printing inks. In Princeton, N.J., German specialty chemicals maker Altana AG has paid $635 million for the clay-based additive business of Princeton-based Rockwood Holdings Inc. The additives can be used to tailor properties of polymers, coatings and personal-care products.

The video wraps up with news that NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected the presence of plastic feedstock propylene on Titan, a moon of the planet Saturn. NASA officials aid it's the first time propylene has been detected on any moon or planet other than Earth.