Laurel BioComposite LLC announced today that it has introduced Bio-Res, a patent pending product for the plastic molding market. The company developed the unique material to cost-effectively raise the renewable or "green" content of plastic products by as much as 40 percent.
The product introduction coincides with the launch of a new pilot plant expected to begin manufacturing the material in November. Laboratory tests prove the material's ability to act as a replacement for neat resin at a reduced cost.
Bio-Res is available in a powder or pellet form and mixes easily with polyethylene, polypropylene, polylactic acid and PHA. Bio-Res pellets are made of 60 to 80 percent bio-material. Injection molders can insert the pellets directly into injection molded parts. The material can also be blended with various resins. The product replaces traditional petroleum-based resins in a variety of manufacturing processes for plastics.
The new material does not affect food supplies because it is made from corn-based distillers' grain, a non-edible by-product of ethanol plants. This renewable feedstock is readily available and easy to transport and store, making Bio-Res suited for large volume production. Bio-Res sequesters carbon dioxide and does not use toxic compounds during processing.
The pilot facility will produce approximately 1 million lbs. of Bio-Res the first year to support customer trials. The trials will help define specific performance property improvements. Plans are underway to build a plant in 2012 capable of producing 48 million lbs. of Bio-Res pellets. The material is especially suited for use in a range of industries including shipping, lawn and garden, agriculture and automotive applications.