The Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (CB2) will fabricate biobased plant containers at the NPE2015 International Plastics Showcase to be held March 23-27 in Orlando, Fla. The containers will be injection molded using Bio-ResTM PLA, a 100 percent renewable and compostable plastic.

The plastic is a blend of PLA and Bio-Res, an environmentally friendly product developed by CB2 industry member Laurel Biocomposite, LLC. It is derived from distillers grains, a renewable feedstock, and can be blended with thermoplastics and thermosets in a variety of manufacturing applications.  

The Bio-Res PLA plant containers are part of a five-year study of the production and performance of various bioplastic pots led by CB2 faculty members at Iowa State University. The study is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

CB2 Bio res PLA

“These biobased plant containers are a viable and sustainable replacement for the petroleum-based pots that are currently used,” said David Grewell, director of CB2 and professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State. 

While at NPE attendees can watch the containers being made with an injection molding machine with an integrated end-of-arm-tooling robot. They will also receive a complimentary plant container to take home. Wittmann Battenfeld Inc. is providing the injection molding machine and auxiliary equipment to CB2 during the show. VistaTek provided the plant container mold.

“This will be a great opportunity for industry and users, including gardeners, to see these pots firsthand. The hope is to develop industrial collaborations that will lead to long-term acceptance of this novel product,” said Grewell.

CB2 is a National Science Foundation Industry & University Cooperative Research Center that brings together industry partners and university researchers who have a common interest in biobased plastics and composites. It is led by Iowa State with Washington State University as a site. Organizations interested in the market introduction of economically viable biobased products are encouraged to join CB2 and its 23 industry partners.

CB2 along with Laurel Biocomposite will be in booth S18189 in the Sustainability Pavilion. For more information, visit www.cb2.iastate.edu.