Tencel is the lyocell fiber, of botanic origin, extracted from the raw material, wood. Coming from nature and makes use of photosynthesis which has, since the beginning of time, been an important mechanism in nature and the basis for life on earth. In photosynthesis the energy from the sun is absorbed by various dyestuffs, primarily green chlorophyll, and converted into chemical energy. In this respect, the starting products of carbon dioxide and water are converted into dextrose and oxygen. The more Tencel fiber you have, the more oxygen. 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.