A bed of mussels, AI-generated image
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Bysco, an industrial start-up based in Nantes, France, aims to recycle and process 20 tons of byssus threads annually. Byssus threads are the bundles of fine threads that mollusks such as mussels use to attach themselves to their surroundings. According to Bysco, these threads have heat-insulating and sound-absorbing properties and are naturally fire-retardant.

To process the byssus threads, Bysco set up a production facility in Brittany near key mussel farming areas. In 2023, the start-up produced one ton of insulation material, but it should reach 5 tons in 2024 and as much as 20 tons by 2026. To achieve this ambitious growth, the company plans to raise €500,000 in funds before the summer.

© bysco

Bysco is targeting several markets, including isothermal packaging, filling materials for the plastics industry, mobility, and thermal and acoustic insulation in the construction industry. In addition, the company is exploring opportunities in the RV and marine industries, as well as in technical clothing, luggage, and sporting goods, with the knowledge that byssus fibers can also be blended with other materials such as wool, flax, or hemp.

The company’s next step is to produce clotheslines so that mussel farmers can perform this process themselves. Processing and material preparation, including drying, finishing and blending, will then be carried out by Bysco.