Entrepreneur Instead creates furniture with beer spent

Instead creates furniture with beer spent

Driven by the boom in microbreweries, beer production has grown by 2.5 million hectoliters in ten years, or some 24 million in total. As a corollary of this explosion, the increase in residues resulting from the brewing of cereals, the spent grains, which represent 20% of the material used.

Anxious to promote such a material mainly used in animal feed, Franck Grossel, a young cabinetmaker trained at the Nantes School of Design, had an idea: to use spent grains to make particle board and furniture.

Project Graduation

Presented as a graduation project, his prototype led him to create in 2020, Instead, which he based in Vendeuil (Aisne), not far from Saint-Quentin. To refine the concept, three years of work were necessary. Loaded with humidity, the spent grains must be dried, then assembled with a binder giving them the same mechanical resistance as conventional glued wood.

Thanks to the help of an Aveyron industrialist specializing in the molding of wood fibers, on which the designer prefers to remain discreet, the cabinetmaker was able to finalize his formulation, composed of 98% spent grain. The technology is based on the use of the sugar naturally contained in the product. “The 2% of added binders are free of formaldehydes and VOCs, which makes our product one of the few fully bio-based materials on the market,” emphasizes Franck Grossel.

First collections

His innovation, which he does not plan to patent, is embodied in the furniture collections offered since this summer by Instead, including a first model of stool sold via the Internet. Painted with epoxy powders, themselves from recycling, the furniture was designed to be repairable. After a few weeks, Instead, supported by Hauts-de-France Innovation Development (Hdfid), bpifrance or the Euratechologies innovation center, has already registered 40,000 euros in pre-orders.

The company, which still manufactures in Aveyron, plans to create a production unit in Hauts-de-France, “as close as possible to the raw material”, according to Franck Grossel. In particular, it would allow it to produce chipboard panels for architectural and furniture professionals. In the meantime, Instead plans to soon open an office in Nantes to develop its sales network.

The invention

Creation date : 2020

Founder: Franck Grossel

Effective : 1 person

Sector: Furnishing

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