Company producing DDGS product has ribbon cutting, open house

By Holly Jessen | October 01, 2013

Nebraska-based Laurel BioComposite LLC recently moved into a newly constructed manufacturing facility, a fact celebrated during a Sept. 25 open house and ribbon cutting ceremony. The company’s first production line is now operational, with a capacity of 7 million pounds yearly.

The company developed Bio-Res, a trademarked product made from distillers grains, that can be used in place of traditional petroleum-based resins. It can be included in the manufacturing process of various plastics at rates up to 40 percent. “Our product … creates a positive environmental impact by reducing the industry’s reliance on crude oil,” said Tim Bearnes, CEO of Laurel BioComposite. “It remains our goal to manufacture a quality bio-based product at a cost effective price. We don’t make the plastic. We make the plastic greener.”

Phase I of the project to build a 20,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Laurel, Neb., is now complete. The new production line is used to convert distillers grains into a powder or master batch pellets, which can be used for thermoset applications or thermoplastics applications, respectively.

In Phase II, which is now under way, the company will add a second production line and bulk material handling, bringing total annual capacity up to 48 million pounds. Pilot-scale testing of the concept was conducted in rural Coleridge while the full-scale facility in Laurel was under construction.

Several special guests were on hand for the event, including Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, Maxine Moul, Nebraska State director of USDA Rural Development, Laurel Mayor Mark Patefield and Keith Knudsen of Security Bank. Other Laurel BioComposite representatives participating in the ribbon cutting included Ray Schenk, technical director, Annette Junck, business manager, Terry Wilkerson, board secretary, Boyd Ebberson, board chairman, and board members Seth Harder, Jeff Tourlemke, Dan Grams and Mike Dunklau.