TENCEL® fiber production
TENCEL® production process
*) NMMO – N-Methylmorpholine N-oxide is an aqueous, biodegradable, organic solvent
Innovation leader due to know-how
Lenzing has over 20 years of expertise in the large-scale industrial production of TENCEL® fibers. This is certainly one reason Lenzing is the innovation leader in the industry. New applications are developed all the time.
TENCEL® fibers have optimum moisture management properties that make them appealing for use in high-grade home textiles such as bedspreads, sheets and pillow cases, but also in sportswear and outer garments for women.
The environmental friendliness and biodegradability of TENCEL® fibers are essential market criteria for sensitive segments such as cosmetics, hygiene and medicine.
Nearly complete closed loop process
The production process features a nearly complete closed loop process involving the aqueous, organic solvent NMMO. The spin bath is cleaned, reconcentrated and then reused for solvent production.
NMMO is recovered at a rate of more than 99%, the small losses being offset with make-up NMMO.
As with viscose, the TENCEL® process involves wood as the raw material. The cellulose contained in it is extracted and the dissolving wood pulp obtained in this way is finely dispersed in a concentrated aqueous solution of N-Methylmorpholine N-oxide (NMMO) and dissolved. The excess water is evaporated to form a solution of cellulose.
The highly-viscous solution is filtered and then pressed through spinnerets into an aqueous spinning bath. There, the cellulose precipitates in the form of fibers. Further auxiliary materials, dulling agents and stabilizers are needed for this process.
Finishing agents are applied to the fibers to improve their running and gliding properties for further processing. The finishing agents used are fully biodegradable.